The Room: the Worst Movie You Can Ever Love.
The Room is often mentioned as the worst film ever made. The “Citizen Kane of bad movies.” It has grown into a favorite interactive midnight movie, much like the Rocky Horror Picture Show. If you are a fan of Cult or Trash films, this is a must-see. At face value, it is a train wreck. It starts with the feel of a poorly acted soft porn movie. The actors, the dialogue, the genuinely uncomfortable sex scenes and the script all contribute to this real “what the fuck?” film. Nothing makes sense in this, and that makes you want to see it again and again. Why is it so bad?
The odd Tommy Wiseau
The Room is the brainchild of the mysterious and equally bizarre Tommy Wiseau. No one knows anything about his life before the film. His nationality is unknown. His age and real name are a secret. No one knows the source of the six million dollar budget. Where did the money get spent? It doesn’t show on film. Wiseau is the writer, director, and star of the movie. After only a few seconds of watching you realize he is inept at all three. He has very few facial expressions. His long jet black hair and strange face make one think of Gene Simmons with an accent that is a cross between Christopher Walken and the Simpson’s Nick Riveria. His own acting is so bad that you notice is lips are out of synch with his words. Apparently, he could not remember many of his own lines that he had “written” so they were dubbed during production.
A failing 6th grader could write the script.
The film is a weak attempt at a dark melodrama. It centers around Johnny (Tommy Wiseau), a wealthy and generous banker. Johnny’s conniving fiancee Lisa (Juliette Danielle) becomes bored of him then decides to seduce his conflicted best friend Mark (Greg Sestero). The actors are inexperienced, and the majority of the acting is poor. Instead of being melodramatic, it is a laughably misguided comedy of errors.
There is little to no character development. The story is full of dead-end subplots, never explained or completed. A strange example is when Lisa’s mother announces out of nowhere that the test came back and she has breast cancer. Lisa coldly replies “Don’t worry about it. You’ll be okay. They’re curing lots of people every day.” There is no conclusion or mention of her cancer again. There is also a scene where Denny, the young man who Johnny supports, has a run-in with a drug dealer. He owes him money. The dealer threatens him at gunpoint. There is no exposition. There is no when, why or what about the drugs or money. Once again, the subplot begins and ends there. There are also several strangely written lines for the character Johnny (Wiseau) such as, “The barbecue chicken was delicious, rice.” or “Thank you, honey, this is a beautiful party! You invited all my friends. Good thinking!”
Improper Use of a Football
Maybe Wiseau believes that passing football is a required male ritual? There are several scenes where the men throw the ball from only a few feet apart. It looks odd and unnatural. The films most “What the fuck?” moment is a scene where the men, wearing baggy tuxedos (no one knows why), go outside to pass the football in a back alley. This contributes nothing to the story. It ends without rhyme or reason when one of the guys has a poorly acted fall, and they walk inside. That is it. No one knows why the scene is in the movie.
The punishing Sex Scenes
The film contains just over ten minutes of poorly directed sex scenes. The sex scenes are long and uncomfortable. It appears that Johnny is actually humping Lisa’s thigh or belly button. Wiseau, to save money, reused the same footage in two of the scenes. He didn’t think the audience would realize the repeat. They did. Two previously unknown supporting characters barge into Johnny’s apartment to have sex on the sofa. The male character receives oral sex while eating chocolate and making what appears to be monkey faces. It is horrible to watch.
So Much More
- Johnny’s strange, annoying laugh.
- One of the characters is played by two different actors, switching halfway through the film.
- Mark shaves his beard mid-film. There is a dramatic shot of his face. However, there is no explanation for him shaving, and no one seems to mention it after the one scene. Reports say that Wiseau wanted this done for the sole purpose of his character being able to call him “Baby Face” once.
- The actors often deliver their lines looking toward the camera.
- Spoons. See if you notice.
- The poor use of a green screen to show the city view from the roof is terribly distracting.
- The night scenes often appear to be shot in the day and vice-versa.
- The annoying way Johnny starts his lines by saying “Oh, hi.” The phrase “Oh, hi” is spoken nine times, and “Oh, hey” seven times.
- And the way Johnny ends many of the lines with “That’s the idea.”
- The creepiest character, Denny. A teenager states he likes to watch Johnny and Lisa have sex (at least someone does.) The statement adds nothing to the story line.
- Denny tells Johnny that he is in love with Lisa. Johnny is not phased. He explains that she loves him as a friend. All is well as Denny then pronounces his love for Elizabeth. Who is in the hell is Elizabeth? She is not in the movie.
- A lot of footage of San Francisco for no real reason between scenes.
- Weird mood swings. Mark starts to throw a character off the building. He changes his mind. As a result, they are immediately chummy with no mention of the moment. Johnny, who is angry about accusations of hitting Lisa, sees Mark and is instantly cheerful “It’s not true! I did not hit her! It’s bullshit! I did not. Oh, hi, Mark!.”
- Lisa says five times “I don’t want to talk about it.”, often after talking about it.
The Room is still Going
And the list can go on and on, seems like the more you watch, the more you find. As horrific as The Room is, it has gained a significant cult following. Hollywood figures such as Paul Rudd, David Cross, and Will Arnett were early fans of the film. Kristen Bell acquired a film reel to show at private viewing parties. The Room is the theme of a video game (Play it). Jeff Sestero wrote the book “The Disaster Artist” about Tommy Wiseau and the making of the film. The book is now a movie starring James Franco and Seth Rogen. There is also a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for the former cast to make a mockumentary on where they are now. At sold-out theaters around the country, you can find the late night crowd yelling insults, throwing plastic spoons and tossing footballs at short distances. All while sharing the experience of this much-admired debacle. All because The Room is the best bad movie ever made. Check it out.
d-_-b “i’ll do ya” – Whale