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The Roommate Contract

average rating is 3 out of 5


William Hemingway


Posted on:

May 18, 2024

Film Reviews
The Roommate Contract
Directed by:
Lydia Muir
Written by:
Lydia Muir
Korina Deming, Daniel Kim, Regan Hicks, Samekh Resh

Living in New York City is not an easy thing to do. Property is at a premium, rents are sky high and finding someone to flatshare with who isn’t a total nutbar is an almost impossibility. It is for reasons such as these that young twenty-something writer, Aiysha (Deming) has been crashing on her best friend Kara’s (Hicks) couch for the past wee while, preferring that to the cockroach infested glorified cupboard that she is currently paying rent for.


Like it or not though, Aiysha’s lease is up in about a week’s time and so she really needs to get on it to try and find somewhere new to live. Unfortunately for her, this is not the only thing Aiysha needs to sort out in her life, as she really needs to start pulling herself together in actually finding a paid job as well as maybe, perhaps finding a boyfriend for herself, too.


Thankfully, dating apps are the one thing in NYC which never fail to deliver, with millions of thirsty loners out there just chomping at the bit to get some actual human interaction, no matter that most of them barely have the minimum requirement of social skills and aren’t all that comfortable about stepping out of their front door in the first place.


It is a miracle then that on her first attempt at meeting for a date, Aiysha lands up with Nathan (Kim), a twenty-something lawyer who was being messed around by his previous girlfriend and who, just by complete happenstance, is unbelievably on the lookout for a new flatmate, as his best pal Sebastian (Resh) moves onto pastures new by moving in with his own girlfriend. And so, the set-up for The Roommate Contract is in place, the fuse is lit, and we are ready for the romcom shenanigans to begin.


With the first episode in this new web-series from writer/director Lydia Muir taking us through the introductions of our will they/won’t they lovebirds and ending with the signing of The Roommate Contract itself, the way is laid clear for the rest of the series to engineer as many difficult, uncomfortable situations as possible for the not-quite-a-couple to find themselves in. As yet there are three completed episodes, of between ten and fifteen minutes each, but with there being eight rules on The Roommate Contract, and each episode taking on a theme from one of the rules, there’s plenty of scope for Muir to take the series forward and expand on what she has already built.


Being shot on a tight budget, this little web-series has a feel of being just a little bit basic, or, dare I say it, far more realistic than anything like Friends or How I Met Your Mother ever was. The apartments are of an appropriate size and style, with plenty of bare walls and affordable furniture, while the outdoor locations do their best to show us some of the sights of the city, just from a distance far enough away to let us know we’re in the cheap seats. The dialogue, too, can be pretty basic at times, with certain scenes merely being there for a short set-up before they fade to black and the next scene is cued in.


On the plus side though, both Korina Deming as Aiysha and Daniel Kim as Nathan are very likeable in their roles and they do their best with what they’ve been given. They are very cute together and play off each other well, with each of them giving off ‘normal person’ vibes the whole way through, something which is obviously very difficult to tie down in NYC 2024.


Throughout the three episodes, Aiysha and Nathan are run through the gamut of established romcom conventions, with the solidity of The Roommate Contract being tested at every turn. Right from the off it seems obvious that their relationship is less of a Ross and Rachel will they/won’t they and more of a [insert any Meg Ryan 90’s romcom] where everyone knows it’s going to happen, it’s just a matter of when.


There’s a lot to recommend The Roommate Contract, despite its limitations, and at under quarter an hour per episode it’s perfect for dipping into when you’re feeling under the weather, you need a little wholesome pick-me-up, or the endless Friends reruns just aren’t hitting like they used to. There’s enough in the three completed episodes to suggest to an audience that The Roommate Contract is a diversion worthy of their time and it would be a real shame if Lydia Muir were not able to complete at least the first series and get another five episodes made. Don’t come for me though, if I spoil it for you now, and say that it’s highly likely that Aiysha and Nathan will be getting it on by the end.

About the Film Critic
William Hemingway
William Hemingway
Digital / DVD Release, Web Series
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