Starring: Steven Kaplan, Alia Shawkat
Writer/Director: Brian Hecker

The Plot

Source: IMDB.com

While Danny's father and mother independently search for love, Danny is on his own desperate quest to find a prom date. Danny's search becomes progressively more pathetic once he and his family learn that Bart, the school's biggest dweeb, not only secured a date for the prom, but got a hotel room as well.

The Review

Even as I get burned over and over again, I cannot resist a high school teen movie. I don't know what it is, but even though I have sat through some absolute crap, I keep coming back. Could be that I'm nostalgic, could be that I'm absolutely creepy. Either way, here's my second teen movie review since I started the site a month ago: Bart Got a Room.

This is more of my taste: it's about a nerd named Danny Stein (can you get more generic Jew than that?) who attempts to get a hot date to his senior prom and avoid being known as the biggest loser in school. His quest goes from a sophomore who sees him as a brother, to a slutty friend of a friend, to an Oriental girl with a very traditional family, to even a hooker. All the while, his best friend since diapers Camille (Alia Shawkat) is waiting for him to ask her. While this is going on, his divorced parents Ernie (William H. Macy) and Beth (Cheryl Hines) try to move on in their love lives, which affects Danny too, but not nearly as much as you would expect an independent movie like this would show.

Steven Kaplan, who plays Danny, is supposed to be a nerd because he is a band geek and seemingly only has one friend. However, nothing about him really screamed nerdy to me. Sure, he plays trumpet, but I knew trumpet players who got laid all the time. He didn't seem overly shy or overly klutzy or any of the other staple nerd characteristics in film. Honestly, his whole nerdiness is supposed to come from his very Jewish face and Woody Allen-like neuroses, which he has, but Woody Allen he is not.

Alia Shawkat is going to forever be Maebe Funke, which is sad, because she did really well as Danny's best friend Camille. She wasn't anything like her Arrested Development character, being more shy and more button downed and more...man I hate saying this, but Jewish. Either way, she shows signs of acting chops and in theory, could do big things in the future...should her freckles disappear.

William H. Macy as Danny's father Ernie is the scene stealer in the film. Ernie is a horndog desperate to get laid and puts his own failures onto his son Danny, trying to get him to succeed where he couldn't. The few funny moments in the film belonged to him, and if you want to see a good performance from his this year, rent this instead of Shorts. Actually, do ANYTHING except watch Shorts.

The movie only runs 72 minutes long, but it accomplishes what it needs to accomplish and did not feel drawn out like many movies do. However, the ending itself felt rushed and forced and didn't leave me with a good taste in my mouth. Too many questions up in the air, and (SPOILER ALERT!) he goes through all this trouble to go to the prom and just stops caring that quick, going to a bar mitzvah instead held at the same hotel. Yeah. Okay.

If you have Netflix and need to fill your queue, you could do a lot worse than this. It's a quick diversion with a decent cast and some funny lines and parts. However, if you are anti-Semetic or can't stand Jewish stereotypes, I wouldn't touch this film.


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