The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Globe Life

September 25, 2009

Review: ‘Bart Got a Room’ a quirky, low-key comedy

“Bart Got a Room”

(Rated PG-13)

It can be argued that there are only a handful of unique ideas that form the basis of all stories and, consequently, all movies. If that is the case, then it’s not so much the story you tell, as how you tell it. And that is where “Bart Got a Room” really shines.

For high-school senior Danny Stein, the most important dilemma in his life is not where he will be ranked in his graduating class, or what colleges he should apply to; it’s getting the best possible date to the prom.

Danny’s best friend Camille (played with effortless charm by Alia Shawkat, of TV’s “Arrested Development”) would be an excellent, and willing, choice, but Danny can’t get over the notion that there’s someone “better” waiting for him. As Danny’s search becomes more frantic, it begins to mirror the plight of his own parents, recently separated and trying to make their own way through the tangled jungle of dating. One thing seems certain: looking for love never gets any easier.

Though this material has been done to death in countless films that came before, and will certainly form the basis for countless films yet to come, “Bart Got a Room” manages to throw some unexpected twists and surprises into the mix — the result of which is a film that stands out from the pack. Earthy and realistic in the way that only really good low-budget films can be, Bart glows with good-natured warmth that makes it a joy to watch.

A quirky and low-key comedy, it features enough hilarious situations and wonderful performances (particularly the always-great William H. Macy, as Danny’s clueless father) that it may just be the perfect sweet treat for a movie-night with friends or a special someone.

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