FILM ARCHIVES

‘Room 314’

by

How many stories can one hotel room tell? At least five according to Room 314, a pageant of white heterosexual encounters of the inconsequential kind. Nick and Stacey, refugees from a bachelor party who discover how to curb the embarrassment of a one-night stand; Harry, a recovering alcoholic bound for suicide; Jack and Kathy, married to other people and incapable of deciding whether to have sex; Matt and Tracy, all fun and games until he calls her a whore; and David and Caly, cute young things who have no business sharing a room now that they’re broken up. Writer-director Michael Knowles is interested in what happens when you shove people into the anonymous space of a hotel room, but these mostly unconnected short cuts are neither unusual nor substantial, bringing to mind memories of better productions that also panned out inside the confines of rented locales: Robert Altman’s Fool for Love, where there was a sense of how interiors are colored by the world outside (it would appear that Room 314 is where cinema goes to die), or Richard Linklater’s fiercely wound-up Tape, which found more than one angle from which to shoot the discord of its characters and whose lissome, lightning-rod dialogue didn’t sound as if it existed only to buy time until the next scene.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 23, 2007

Archive Highlights