The Room is a beautiful story of star-crossed lovers Lisa and Johnny, until very suddenly (and basically for no reason) Lisa decides that she "doesn't love him anymore." The movie begins with a series of one of the film's classic haphazard entrances. A blunt and to-the-point "Hi babe," followed by the entrance of one of the strangest man children ever to grace the silver screen. Tommy had me at "Oh, hi Denny." This is where The Room shows its true colors: with one of its absurdly long sex scenes set to cool 90's R&B. Next we meet Mark, Johnny's so-called "best friend." Mark always seems very confused by what's going on, as if everything he's doing is a choice being made for him. Like after a very long, steamy love scene with Lisa, he says "Gah, why did you do this to me? Why?"
The rest can be summed up as many creepy Denny moments, nonsensical mother-daughter conversations, drunken weirdness, and cameos by characters that have no weight on the story and that will never be explained. Oh yeah, and football in tuxedos.
I've decided to make a list of all that makes The Room bad. Feel free to comment with additions, as it is impossible for one mere mortal to catch them all.
1. The acting - way worse than bad.
2. The timing - off and inexplicable.
3. The set - also inexplicable (Spoon art, chair in front of TV but facing away from it, and really bad green screen)
4. The script - there is literally no reasoning behind anything.
5. The reactions - fights break out, apologies are given...out of the blue.
6. THE DUBBING - completely off in volume, pitch, and timing.
7. The fact that all of this drama is going down over...that girl?
8. The extremely long establishing shots which lead to a different time or place than they are establishing.
9. The technology (i.e. an amazing cassette tape that will record for unlimited hours and from under a table that's able to pick up both sides of a phone conversation).
10. Endless continuity problems.
11. Tommy's need to show off his ground horse meat, burn victim body.
12. Reusing footage from one sex scene in another.
13. Shooting in digital AND film.
...just to mention a few.
Like any film classic, The Room is meant to be watched time and time again. New things discovered each time, the subtleties of its badness rising to meet you.
I DID NOT HIT HER, I DID NAAAAT!
YOU'RE TEARING ME APART, LISA!!
Some fair comparisons:
If Criss Angel did loads of drugs for the next twenties years.
She can only be described as an Ogre.
Last night, Adult Swim showed The Room for the second year in a row as an ode to April Fool's Day. It aired as "To Be Announced," and between commercials they had Space Ghost interviewing the mastermind that is Tommy Wiseau.
Lastly, for any fan of this classic, this is a GIFT:
So run to your local Cineplex...they are most likely showing The Room once a month as they do in theaters across the country. I personally frequent The Sunset 5 in Los Angeles, where there are monthly appearances and photo opportunities with Tommy Wiseau. Thousands show up every month, worshipping him like an ironic idol. It's basically like going to church...drunk. Everyone comes equipped, instead of with Bibles, with spoons (Every time the pointless framed picture of a spoon is shown on screen, the entire crown screams "SPOOONS!" and throws them). Everyone knows every line and every fault of the movie. They celebrate Tommy and his film, while tearing it apart brutally. I must say, I've never watched this film without laughing hysterically. Watching it with an enthusiastic crowd feels like a tribal experience. It's a club, and I am SO happy to be a part of, and I think EVERYONE should join.
Some friends and I with the man, himself.
A moment from a screening.