Like some sick, awful rite of passage for all film critics and film buffs, this is my burden to bear… the infamous “experience” that is The Room.
It isn’t long before Johnny will marry Lisa, and while he struggles to get his promotion, he slowly discovers that despite being with her for seven years Lisa perhaps isn’t being faithful to him…
The Room, technically, isn’t a theatre release movie: it was given a release in one American cinema and if it weren’t for a handful of students watching it and spreading the word on how horrifically bad it is… this “film” wouldn’t be all over the internet today.
This thing now has a fandom, a cult following that promotes regular theatre showings across the globe, it even had a video game made out of it, and a novel was published (“The Disaster Artist”) from one of the actors. A movie biopic adaptation of the novel starring James Franco is due to release this year.
The Room is notoriety and infamy given form.
So with me joining the party so late, how do I feel about it? The Room is a god awful experience. I’ve seen my fair share of bad films, the ones that barely qualify as films, Bloodrayne 2, Species 3 etc, but The Room has changed the Cinema Cocoa frame of reference with a new low.
I am not messing around when I tell you that every single shot, every single scene, every single line of dialogue is terrible. Even the edits are terrible; those things between one character speaking to another character, yeah, those are terrible. The sets are terrible; picture frames have their generic images in them (pictures of spoons no less!) and the acting is misguided and completely careless.
It is like a shopping list on “How to Not make a Movie”.
Storywise, outside of the film making, is all over the place. It is only ninety three minutes long and it charges by as fast as Hardcore Henry with continuous scene transitions and cutaways never letting you settle into a mood. For example: We have a kid who is, for some reason, now living with Johnny and Lisa and falls into dirty dealings with drug dealers. A severe moment that despite being hideously acted and scripted is never referred to again… It just happens, there are no consequences, there are no comments or threat following. Literally pointless. Every scene is like this, and if there is an exception then the scene is a literal repeat of a previous scene.
Fifty percent of this film is made of guys throwing a football around, a woman arguing the same dialogue with her mother, or sex… the most hideous, not-at-all-arousing sex you have ever seen (again, some scenes literally repeated)
Character development is non existent and for an hour and a half characters remain stuck on the same hang ups without reprieve, redemption or submission. Escalation, yes, but everything is carried out so inhumanly that the escalation is laughable.
The film is directed, produced, written and starring Tommy Wiseau (he even has his own “production company” Wiseau Pictures) a man who is a genuine mystery to the world. No one knows which country he comes from, his dialect is broken English with a eastern European accent, though he claims he may be a vampire. Indeed, Wiseau’s bizarre behavior in front and behind the camera only makes his own outlook on life even stranger to behold. The film is like watching an alien interpret human emotions, or a film made and directed by a computer algorithm.
You might think that it is unfair to slander Wiseau, if he really poured his heart and soul into the project, but genuinely at its very best it is still a bizarre train wreck. This man is no actor and no director (panning shots look worse than a family holiday video), and it is surprising the project even got finished and his actors didn’t just quit.
The Room is an experience… if you somehow haven’t heard of it and like to dismantle films, check it out. Probably watch it with friends and with booze.
After watching it, watch The Nostalgia Critic’s review of it. He loves and hates it.
Additional Marshmallows: I’ve never used so many quotation marks in a review before!
Additional, additional Marshmallows: Fans of the film bring plastic spoons to any theatrical showing and throw them at the screen whenever a spoon appears in one of the set dressing’s picture frames. No joke!