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Room 314 (DVD Review)

15 Jun, 2008 By: Anne Sherber

Room 314

Prebook 6/20/08; Street 7/22/08
$19.95 DVD
Not rated.
Stars Joelle Carter, Matthew Del Negro, Todd Swenson.

Five different couples find themselves and their lives changed when they check, one after the other, into one hotel room.

In one segment, a couple wakes up together and then has to begin to get to know each other. In another, a man bent on self-destruction discovers his actions have effects that will linger longer than he thought. All five segments showcase an intense intimacy, almost palpable, that reveals the characters in their most naked moments.

Room 314 is interesting both for the stories that it tells and the way in which it tells them. The conceit of a hotel room whose walls have “ears” exposes the couples in their most unguarded, private moments. And from those moments, entire lives can be gleaned. Sometimes the stories are joyful and romantic; sometimes they are dark and disturbing. Sometimes characters find reason for optimism; sometimes they are trapped by their own neuroses.

Room 314 has much in common with 2005's Nine Lives, another series of short dramas that, unlike Love, Actually and Closer, are not related to each other, but stand alone. Like short stories, as opposed to novels, the storytelling is compact and economical. Much is implied and suggested, rather than spelled out.

Although a couple of the stories are more compelling than others, all five touch on recognizable life experiences. Those with an interest in non-traditional storytelling and small, independent dramas will be interested in Room 314.

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