Nerdy high school senior Danny has spent six hundred bucks on the hotel room, the limo and the tux for his prom. He's only missing one thing - the girl. Hampered by well intentioned but clueless advice from his newly divorced parents and unsympathetic mocking from his best friends, Danny battles peer pressure, teen angst and his own raging hormones as he desperately searches for a prom date. Danny's luckless quest turns to panic when he learns that even Bart - the school's biggest dweeb - has secured not only a date but also a hotel room for the night.
Bart Got a Room
isn’t the first movie comedy about nerds, high school, and the senior prom, and it undoubtedly won’t be the last. It may not be the best, either, but writer-director Brian Hecker’s 2008 concoction has enough laughs, charm, amusingly-drawn characters, and winning performances to more than hold its own. For Danny Stein (Steven J. Kaplan), a high school student in Hollywood, Florida, the imminence of the prom is the source of considerable distress; even more distressing is the prospect of booking of a hotel room for himself and his date at the end of the evening. Problem is, Danny (who’s a bit of a schlub, but far from a total, like, loser), doesn’t have a date yet. The obvious choice is his “best friend” Camille (Alia Shawkat), who’s available and clearly interested, but Danny thinks he can do better--say, with Alice (Ashley Benson), the sophomore hottie who drives to school with him every day. Wrong. As the days, then the hours, dwindle down, Danny, whose parents’ separation is an added distraction (William H. Macy and Cheryl Hines are perfect as Ernie, who’s looking for love on the internet, and Beth, who has a new beau), realizes he’s in big trouble, not least because even the titular Bart--a geek so geeky he makes Danny look like Tom Cruise--already has the room thing covered. All of this plays out in ways that are neither surprising nor especially hilarious, but the movie has heart, not to mention a number of cute, quirky scenes (many involving Danny’s well-intentioned, but mostly clueless, family). Movies like Bart Got a Room
aren’t really about the destination, anyway; they’re about the journey, and this one’s a fun ride. --Sam Graham
Stills from Bart Got a Room (Click for larger image)