ROOMMATES (2022) SHORT FILM REVIEW
With its jubilant tone, Ashley Eakin’s Roommates is a direct and funny declaration of a message we need to hear more often.
Two girls, each with their own issue, debate whether to remain on a social level set by convention. Angry, anxious, and naturally, they decide to shatter the barrier and be normal. It’s a speech that we, as a society, are perhaps reluctant to consider.
They’re roommates in the same dorm since they both have disabilities that prevent them from living independently. They both have disabilities, but Sophia is in a wheelchair and Izzy is paralyzed from the waist down. However, when they meet, they discover that the union has spawned something quite interesting. When you meet someone at random, it can lead to something big. Is this their first stop on the way? Having a good time and getting drunk while in college.
There’s a chance they’ll look back on this in a bad light the next day. Then then, you never know.
Izzy and Sophia are both outspoken characters in this comedy drama that carries a punch. Peer-to-peer relationships have no boundaries, and their attitude is enough to elicit a response. It’s amusing where the film goes from there, but Eakin never loses sight of the initial goal while making a video like this.
Best? Eakin gives such agenda-setters power. Kiera Allen and Kelsey Johnson are real people (the actresses are disabled in real life). The label disabled is debatable, but for the purposes of the film, it isn’t. After all, you will understand why it’s an important component of the film’s debate after you hear first hand what the most affected by the word have to say. It’s direct and poignantly illuminating.
The good news is that Eakin doesn’t take things too seriously or dramatic in his approach to the issue. This should not be happening here. Its tremendous impact will hit those unprepared for college hard. Every corridor and dorm in the film features hidden reflections of intimate discussions that unintentionally depict adulthood.
A different script and business would have made Roommates an occasion to expose actual difficulties in the real world of college. But Eakin accomplishes it best by avoiding grounded talks by secondary characters. Roommates is a stunning story of two girls who went from brave to regular on their own terms. Their mischief isn’t because they’re disabled and wish to be normal. Because they have chosen to live life the way college demands.
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