Director: Tommy Wiseau
Starring: Tommy Wiseau, Juliette Danielle, Greg Sestero
Number 247 on the IMDB bottom 250.
I’ve never watched this film before but I felt like I knew tons about it and could probably drop at least 5 quotes from it without prompting. This is largely down to two things. Firstly, my good friend Eric has seen this film over 100 times in theatres, and we’ve been having conversations about it since roughly 2009. Secondly, one of my favourite podcasts “Skip to the End” watched this film last year, and they’ve frequently discussed it on subsequent shows. I knew because of these two things, this was going to be a good one to write about!
Despite its very low ranking on the IMDB hitlist, The Room is generally considered a cult classic, the best worst movie ever made. It is undoubtedly a terrible film but it is hilarious because it is so bad. It has a very dedicated fanbase, including my friend Eric, the guys from Skip to the End, and now, dare I say it, me! I watched it for the first time at home on my own, but the screenings are in themselves an experience, and I’ll be sure to check one out soon.
I made five pages of notes whilst watching this film and there’s still bits I missed out on! Believe it or not this film warrants repeat viewings, and you’ll soon pick up on every single unintentionally or intentionally hilarious thing there is. Choose what you will to believe from Wiseau about whether he genuinely intended this film to be good and it didn’t work out, or whether he’s just trolling us all and intentionally made it this bad, or whether he’s completely deluded and believes this film is the greatest ever made. I urge you to read the trivia page for this film on IMDB or if you have some more time look into reading The Disaster Artist, the book written by co-star Greg Sestero (“oh hi Mark!”); the stories behind this film are truly unbelievable.
The rough plot if you can call it that is (according to IMDB); Johnny (Wiseau) is a successful banker who lives happily in a San Francisco townhouse with his fiancée, Lisa (Danielle). One day, inexplicably, she gets bored of him and decides to seduce Johnny’s best friend, Mark (Sestero). From there, nothing will be the same again.
Every single aspect of this film is terrible. The delivery of Wiseau is laughably awful, the overlong sex scenes are a car crash of awkwardness, and there’s a ton of plot threads that are started but never picked up on. Lisa’s mother (possibly my favourite character, because she verbalises what we’re all thinking!) mentions in the most offhand way that she has breast cancer (“I definitely have breast cancer”), AND THIS IS NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN! There’s a dramatic scene where Johnny and Lisa’s mentally challenge neighbour Denny is attacked because he owes someone money for drugs. Not only is there no pre-warning for this scene, but it is NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN. It’s genius.
Perhaps the most wonderful thing about this film is the continuity errors including: the mysterious appearing vase, the hair up hair down trick (I can’t link this because it’s a naughty scene!), and my personal favourite, the double door slam (at approx 27:18). Of course this film looks incredibly amateurish, but everything about this film is, and weirdly, that’s why it is so great.
This film is easily one of the most quoteable I’ve seen and I fully understand the appeal. Personal favourites include: “oh hi Mark”, “who are all these characters?” (Good question Claudette), “Anyway, how is your sex life?”, “Leave your stupid comments in your pocket!”, and of course “YOU’RE TEARING ME APART LISAAA”! The great thing about this film is the way people interact with it; check out some audience reaction videos on YouTube and you’ll see what I mean. Watching this film is an experience. It’s an experience when watching it at home alone, and it’s even more of an experience when you have people shouting hilarious commentary and lobbing plastic spoons over your head.
There’s something so very oddly appealing about this film, for all of its atrocities and insanity. It is possibly one of the most unintentionally deliberately bad films ever made. But, there is beauty in its terribleness. To craft a movie this inexplicably bad is an art, and the work of the warped genius that is Tommy Wiseau.
It is absolutely a film which needs to be experienced, you need to revel in its awfulness, and delight in its hilariously bad attempts at creating melodrama. I could not wholeheartedly recommend a bad film more than this one. It is a masterpiece, a complete one off, and I’m glad that I have finally entered The Room.
What do you think of The Room? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.
The coin has been flipped, the number generated and next month I will be watching Fight Club, number 10 on the IMDB top 250. Don’t forget you can get involved and watch as well, using the hashtag #Movie5050.