When Leighton Meester meets her new college roommate Minka Kelly in the upcoming horror film 'The Roommate,' she'll unwittingly join an illustrious list of obnoxious, irritating, malicious, deceiving, dysfunctional, psychotic and murderous roommates throughout cinematic history.
We all have our share of stories involving an iffy roommate. (For instance, I once lived with a woman who moved my things around daily and cleaned the apartment, windows closed, with heavy-duty ammonia.) Yet we hope, for your sake, none have been as bad as our list of the worst roommates in movies -- especially number one.
10. Spike (Rhys Ifans) in 'Notting Hill' (1999)
With Hugh Grant in the leading-man role, you can pretty much guess the plot to this one: stammering, guffawing, romance, misunderstanding, hijinks, another misunderstanding, reconciliation. In this case, Grant is Will Thacker, a bookshop owner who falls in love with Anna Scott (Julia Roberts), an American movie star. As Spike, Will's bizarre, boorish and perpetually underdressed roommate, it's Ifans who alerts the press to the couple's whereabouts, but he also helps Will get back with Anna, so let's call it a draw.
9. Ed (Nick Frost) in 'Shaun of the Dead' (2004)
Like most zombie movies, Edgar Wright's breakthrough film about an invasion of the undead acts as a metaphor for the lives of the film's protagonists Shaun (Simon Pegg), Pete (Peter Serafinowicz) and Ed. While the former two at least attempt to lead productive lives, Ed deals weed, plays video games, forgets messages and crashes on Shaun and Pete's couch. All that, and he blows the trio's cover, inviting another zombie attack. There's always one.
8. Nomi Malone (Elizabeth Berkley) in 'Showgirls' (1995)
Assailed as directionless and laughable upon its release, Paul Verhoeven's 1995 classic (in its own way) has been rejuvenated in recent years by devout fans all too willing to enjoy, and mock, nearly every aspect of the film. Yeah, she may work hard at night, but during the day, Nomi Malone spends her days eating potato chips, watching television and further developing her sociopathic personality. Oh, and a stripper who relocates to Vegas under an assumed name and lies about her past? Like that's realistic.
7. Jeff Slater (Bill Murray) in 'Tootsie' (1982)
Sydney Pollack's gender-bending 1982 comedy is best known for Dustin Hoffman's dual role as difficult, temperamental actor Michael Dorsey and soap opera star Dorothy Michaels. But lost in the drag scenes is the impetus for the pantyhose and wig: the desperate need for $8,000 to produce his roommate Jeff's play. While Hoffman's motivations to remain as Dorothy eventually surpass raising money for Jeff, it was the roommate that got him into the whole situation to begin with.
6. Angie Ostrowski (Amy Poehler) in 'Baby Mama' (2008)
When looking for a surrogate mother for your unborn child, it only makes sense -- for some reason -- that Kate Holbrook (Tina Fey) would pick the most obnoxious, juvenile person she could find. Enter Angie, whose prime qualifications for surrogacy appear to be the possession of a pulse and uterus, to be the Goofus to Kate's Gallant. Losing an intelligence battle with a fetus takes effort, but Angie somehow pulls it off.
5. Oscar Madison (Walter Matthau) in 'The Odd Couple' (1968)
More than 40 years after the release of Gene Saks' film (written by Neil Simon, based on his 1965 play of the same name), The name "Oscar Madison" has become synonymous with "rude, lazy, disgusting, selfish roommate." As the fastidious Felix Unger, Jack Lemmon stands as the perfect counterpoint to Oscar (Walter Matthau), proving what high school seniors who go to college together learn every year: Good friends don't always make good roommates.
4. Dewey Finn (Jack Black) in 'School of Rock' (2003)
We'll always be fans of Richard Linklater's tale of substitute teacher Dewey Finn's attempt to bring rock and roll into the lives of young and uptight prep-school kids, but do the ends justify the means? Fearful of getting kicked out by his roommate Ned (Mike White) for not paying rent or pursuing a job, Dewey hijacks a phone call from the prep school intended for Ned, whom he then impersonates in order to get the job. Not cool, dude.
3. Lara Holleran (Jessica Biel) in 'Rules of Attraction' (2002)
'Killing Zoe' director and Quentin Tarantino cohort Roger Avary took on Bret Easton Ellis's 1987 novel about three sexually promiscuous teenagers in college, a film the author called his favorite among four film adaptations of his work. While Lauren (Shannyn Sossamon), the innocent, self-conscious virgin trumpets abstinence above all, her roommate Lara snorts coke, has sex with the entire football team and ends up in bed with Sean (James Van Der Beek), Lauren's romantic conquest. Ah, college.
2. Tie: Brandon Shaw (John Dall) and Phillip Morgan (Farley Granger) in 'Rope' (1948)
"Nobody commits a murder just for the experiment of committing it. Nobody except us." Often erroneously referred to as Alfred Hitchcock's "single-take" film (the movie was, in fact, shot in 10 segments and carefully edited to look like one take), this underrated gem revolves around two roommates who murder a former classmate "for the sake of danger and for the sake of killing" and who then, naturally, throw a party with the corpse hidden in a wooden chest. Classic.
1. Hedra Carlson (Jennifer Jason Leigh) in 'Single White Female' (1992)
Is there even a close second? Director Barbet Schroeder had already explored the fragility of the mind with 'Barfly' and 'Reversal of Fortune,' but this 1992 thriller about an upwardly mobile yuppie (Bridget Fonda) and her psychotic roommate transcended escapism and became a national water-cooler event. When the person you live with mimics your look, assumes your identity to have sex with your boyfriend, and begins murdering your loved ones before coming after you, go for the studio apartment instead.