The Room (2003)
Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” is, for all intents and purposes, the best worst movie ever made. It has been aptly dubbed by many as being the “Citizen Kane” of bad movies. In fact, not since “Troll 2” has there been such a crazed underground following for a film, which just goes to show that schlock truly has the power to unite us all.
Despite being released in 2003, the film is horribly dated, like a poorly strewn-together late-’90s time capsule rife with bad R&B tracks and Nick Carter haircuts. The overall premise is as timeless as any ancient Greek story, and yet it plays out like an episode of “The Jerry Springer Show.”
The plot involves a classic love triangle that threatens to destroy the friendships of everyone involved. Writer, director and producer Tommy Wiseau also stars in the film, playing the role of Johnny, who is madly in love with his soon-to-be wife, Lisa. Unfortunately, Lisa is cheating on him with his best friend, Mark. Amidst this threesome exists Denny, a twentysomething loner who is seemingly taken under Johnny’s wing for no explicable reason.
This lovers’ quarrel acts as the proverbial anchor for the film betwixt some of the most confusing subplots ever conceived — subplots so offbeat that the film is marred with inconsistencies and continuity errors out the wazoo. As if it has to be stated, “The Room” is not to be enjoyed for its technical merits. In fact, the very opposite remains true as the cult following this movie (that has gained over the years) revels in the absurdity of how highly flawed nearly every aspect of the film turns out to be. “The Room” simply defies all logic in nearly every conceivable way, like a 90-minute tutorial of what not to do when making a feature-length movie.
Some classic subplots that are exposed and never revisited again in the film include: Lisa’s mother revealing that she has breast cancer; Denny’s battle with drugs and the violent altercation that ensues between him and a drug dealer; and a scene involving the lead characters throwing a football around while all wearing tuxedos. Amongst all this hilarity also exists a laundry list of secondary characters that are never introduced and yet have pivotal roles/lines throughout the film.
END OF SPOILERS.
I have to admit, this post was spurred on by Keystone Art Cinema’s “Midnight Madness” screenings, which has “The Room” on slate for this weekend (Friday and Saturday only). I can’t stress enough how much fun this movie is in a group setting; the bigger the crowd, the better the experience. I urge anyone and everyone to go see this in a crowded theater, as you won’t be disappointed. I couldn’t help but be reminded of watching “Mystery Science Theater 3000” the whole time, a fond memory that I didn’t think could be duplicated especially in a live setting.
If you happen to be busy this weekend, never fear, because “The Room” is also out on DVD. In fact, the DVD release is packed with enough special features to make a home viewing worth the while as well, again amidst a room full of friends, of course. Extras include: a Q&A with Tommy Wiseau, scene outtakes and a bizarre documentary short focusing on the “making of” the film.
No matter the format though, “The Room” remains a mind-blowing spectacle unlike any other. The unintentional humor exhibited throughout the film is unrelenting. You will be out of breath from laughing and your fingers will be rubbed raw from head-scratching. Simply put, if non sequiturs, awful acting, cheesy European accents and inane subplots interest you on any level, “The Room” is likely to leave you with a smile on your face. Thanks, Tommy Wiseau, you unintentionally goofy bastard.