THE ROOM

The Room

 

THE ROOM (2003)

TAGLINE: “Can you ever really trust anyone?”

IMDB Rating: 3.2 / 10


It is almost impossible to declare a movie the worst ever made. Each film possesses its own unique low points that render definitive comparison impractical. Every opinion is subjective, every assessment dependent entirely on the timing and context of the viewing.

Apart from one extraordinary exception.

The Room.

The Room is a gaping, gasping, leeching black hole of incompetence and bad taste. It sucks in and traps the unwary- completely escaping The Room is impossible once it has been watched. No matter where one is, where one goes and what one does, there will always be a little piece left of one’s soul left in The Room. The Room is small and fiendish. The Room is huge and immutable. Stepping into The Room changes everything. Like a siren it calls to you before leaving a gibbering shell where once you were sitting. Unlike almost every other film discussed on this blog, only the most experienced Bad Film fan should attempt The Room. It sits silently, patiently,waiting for its next unsuspecting victim. Approach with caution.


To understand The Room, one must first attempt to understand the creative colossus behind this Bad Film magnum opus. Tommy Wiseau wrote, directed, produced, executive produced and starred in The Room. And how. He is very proud of his physique and displays far more than necessary in two early, clammy, pumping, thrusting sex scenes, including a gratuitous, tortuous, lingering shot of his milky buttocks as he saunters to the bathroom for post coital micturition. His luxuriant, lengthy, possibly dyed hair is worn like a mane on an aged lion recently ejected from the pride. It leaves no doubt as to the moral turpitude of this Bad Film Titan.

tommy wiseau
Tommy Wiseau: Auteur and possible mentalist

                             

Very little is known about Wiseau and his background. With each line of dialogue, his thick accent takes us on a journey through France, Poland, India, America and possibly South Africa. His delivery too is unusual- his diction implying he has prepared himself for the scene by necking horse tranquilisers.

You’ve entered ‘The Room’. And the doors are now locked.


His mysterious origins are pertinent as it appears that he may financed the film himself. That’s not unusual until one learns that the estimated budget for The Room was upward of $6m. This is extraordinary- not least because the film looks like it was shot for 1/100th of that budget. Where did the money come from? From his Korean leather jacket import business, as he claims? Please let it be so.

tommy wiseau

Tommy Wiseau: The Agony and the Ecstatic Agony


The plot, such as it is, revolves around Johnny (Wiseau), his fiancé Lisa, and Johnny’s best friend Mark, who is sleeping with Lisa behind Johnny’s back. It is remarkable that such a prosaic set-up can be the source of such madness. There are so many wonderfully bonkers moments in The Room, it is impossible to list them, or even remember them all. Not a moment passes without some insane occurrence. However the real joyful disaster of The Room lies not in the crazy plotting and demented characters,but in the stunning performances and farcical dialogue.

Breathtaking examples include:

In Your Face Aaron Sorkin


And

And It’s Never Mentioned Again…


And


Do you have stupid comments in your pocket or are you just pleased to be in ‘The Room’?


Or most of


The Room’s roof. You’ll ache to throw yourself off


And the now legendary:


Wiseau used both a 35mm film camera and an HD video camera to shoot The Room.  He has subsequently admitted that he was confused about the difference. This is akin to a car mechanic being confused by the difference between manual and automatic gearboxes. Rumours are that two separate crews resigned from the shoot due to his cluelessness. Perfect behaviour for a perfect Bad Filmmaker.

It appears that The Room was an incredible vanity project that went badly wrong. The result may well be the zenith of Bad Film- the work of one misguided, well-financed yet shatteringlyuntalented Bad Film genius. An Ed Wood for the 21st century.

            There is but one caveat- Wiseau cuts such a ludicrous figure, his surname so unique, his background so guarded, his financing so mysterious and the film so utterly, completely, indescribably dreadful, is it possible that the whole project is a hoax? Is Tommy Wiseau the creation of a post-modern comedic genius? A Sacha Baron-Cohen figure who has yet to reveal himself? Is the joke on us? One hopes not. Because it gives us belief that one man can make a difference. One man can do something extraordinary. One man can make the ultimate, perfect, flawless Bad Film. Alone.

3 Comments

  1. Duncan says:

    That’s all very interesting. But more importantly: ‘How’s your sex life?’

  2. good review
    or
    it seems to me like you are the axpert Bride.

  3. Chris R. says:

    After numerous viewings, I had come to a similar conclusion – it must be a hoax. Wiseau must be a character. Nobody could be like that.

    Then I met him.

    I went to a screening of The Room in Boston with some friends and got to meet Tommy Wiseau. He was as bizarre in real life as he was on the screen (albeit much, much shorter – he used some visual trickery in The Room to add eight inches or so to his height.)

    His character is so richly woven, his delivery so impeccable, I believe he can only be one of two things:

    1) A real person.
    2) Charlie Kaufman returned.

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