By Willie Krischke — September 22, 2009
It takes a pretty terrible movie to make me wish I were watching “American Pie” instead.
The terribly, painfully unfunny teenage comedy “Bart Got A Room” is about the all-consuming quest to find a date for the prom, and to make sure that night is the highlight of your life. It proceeds with a terrible, panicky urgency, as if protagonist Steven Kaplan really believes that his life will be ruined forever if prom night isn’t perfect. One wants to grab him by his tuxedo lapels and shake him, screaming that prom night isn’t everything. In fact, for a guy like him, it’s really hardly anything, and the sooner he can get out of high school, the happier he will be.
But Kaplan sees that prom night photograph as some kind of proof that he’s alive, human, and relatively normal, and sets out with dead seriousness to make sure he gets a good one. He doesn’t want to ask his best friend, because she’s too plain. He wants to ask the sophomore cheerleader who takes her clothes off in front of him (“I think of you like a big brother,” she explains. Funny. My little sisters would’ve died before they’d taken their clothes off in front of me) but he’s too nervous. Then there’s the Asian gal who writes sexy poetry but has a jealous boyfriend a thousand miles away, and the girl from a different school who looks about 25 and ditches him when he’s 10 minutes late for dinner.
As the search gets more and more frantic, the movie grows more and more miserable, until it bursts out into a totally unearned, rather bizarre ending in which Kaplan decides he’d rather attend a bar mitzvah for a kid he doesn’t know than go to the prom with the hooker his father hired for him. Really the only laughs here are at how ineptly made this film is, and how terribly tacked on its cheesy ending feels.