I'm happy to say one of the films I was most looking forward to this year actually lived up to my expectations -- and though it's still very early in the festival, Bart Got a Room is easily my personal favorite so far. It's not complex, it's not much different from other nerdy-teen-needs-date-for-prom flicks, but it sure as hell packs a ton of heart and has a lot of fun. It's alive, it's colorful, it's got well-written characters and more than a handful of memorable scenes; if I had to describe this film in one sentence, my pitch would go something like: Picture a contemporary version of Brighton Beach Memoirs if it featured an only child and was set in South Florida. That's Bart Got a Room.
Danny's (Steven Kaplan) a skinny Jewish kid with low self-esteem, eccentric, over-protective parents and no prom date. While he can easily take his best friend Camille (Alia Shawkat), Danny would rather take a girl he might have a romantic chance with. Like the pretty, flirtatious blonde cheerleader he carpools with, or the reserved Asian classmate who writes exotic, pornographic poetry. He'd let his friends set him up with "that girl who sleeps around," he'd throw open the phone book and dial up a girl he hasn't seen in years -- all of which makes Danny a man on a mission. And that mission becomes even more complicated (and important) when Bart, the school's biggest loser, not only secures a prom date ... but also a hotel room. Yup ... even Bart got a room.