Tag Archives: Tim Roth

Four Rooms (1995)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Four Rooms</strong> (1995)

(On Cable TV, April 2012) Sketch comedy seldom works in movies, and Four Rooms isn’t much of an exception to the rule.  Four stories loosely set on a busy New Year’s Eve at a Los Angeles hotel; it’s a mash-up of four writer/directors with different sensibilities and a long list of actors playing small parts. Only Tim Roth provides a bit of continuity as the bellhop who ends up becoming the unwitting protagonist of the film, but his tendency to play the role at full intensity as a perpetually-manic oddball can be as grating as it is peculiar.  The four segments aren’t created equal: From the sex-romp of the opening segment’s coven of witches, we go to a twisted game of role-playing between a married couple, turbulent kids playing while their parents are away, and a small group of rich men having too much fun with a lighter and a butcher’s knife.  Robert Rodiguez and Quentin Tarantino, collaborating together years before Grindhouse, each bring their recognizable style to their segments.  Interestingly, the film seems to have been shot in TV-style 1:1.33 aspect ratio, perhaps as homage to some of the source material.  The humor is definitely quirky, and while some of it feels forced, other gags seem funnier.  Tarantino fans will also appreciate a little bit of his motor-mouth dialogue in the last segment.  Otherwise, Four Rooms exists as an increasingly-historical curiosity, the kind of intriguing idea that falters in production.  Not a disaster, but of primary interests to fans of the directors.