Film Reviews

THE ROOM

By • Aug 20th, 2009 •

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It may seem odd that this review is only now appearing on the site, being that this films limited release was back in 2003. But thanks to the DVD release and an appearance of the films director accompanied by clips from the film on the “Tim & Eric Awesome Show” it has experienced a newfound life, one that I was lucky and happy enough to be a part of.

My first viewing of the film was about a week ago and I’ve already seen it 4 times. Each time showing it to different friends, spreading the good word as a missionary would, so to speak. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve never felt such a passion to watch and expose the film to as many people as possible. You’re probably thinking this is some really well-produced film. Well I’ve got news for you; it isn’t. In fact, it’s bad. Really bad. So bad it’s been dubbed “The Citizen Kane of Bad Films”, which makes the Film’s star and brain child a bizzaro Orson Welles. And therein lies the film’s awesomeness.

There are bad films and then there are films that are so bad they’re good. THE ROOM is the granddaddy of them all. It’s an attempted soap-opera drama set in San Francisco that follows Johnny (Tommy Wiseau) and his seemingly perfect love life with his girlfriend Lisa. Johnny only owns one black suit, sports long black hair that he never washes, and chuckles awkwardly at inopportune moments. He’s desperately in love with Lisa, a chubby blond bitch that hell wouldn’t want. Lisa is cheating on Johnny with Johnny’s best friend Mark. Mark both willingly cheats behind Johnny’s back, feels guilty about it, and will then hint at the affair to make Johnny suspicious. This is very representative of the film, which is in a constant state of hypocrisy. Characters will say things like “I’m very busy right now, do you want a drink’? or they’ll enter a room and then immediately say they have to leave. Oh, I forgot to mention Denny, he’s “like a son to Johnny” and lives in the building. Denny looks somewhere between the ages of 15-30 and is apparently supposed to be developmentally disabled. The acting all around is atrocious, especially Tommy’s, whose thick, mysterious European accent, from where most of the humor is derived.

A story on the cult phenomenon behind the film recently ran on ABC News. It included footage of people lined up and pumped as if a new STAR WARS film was coming out. People bring props related to the film and go to the front of the theatre to re-enact scenes when they appear on-screen. There is even a big celebrity following that includes Alec Baldwin, David Cross and Kristen Bell.

Despite what my words may reflect about the film and Tommy Wiseau, I have a lot of respect for him. He raised a budget of $6,000,000 and spent years trying to get the film made. It’s the ultimate example of a passion project in the independent film world and that if you put your heart to it, you can do anything. In an age where it seems the less talented you are the more attention you get (ie YouTube) THE ROOM is something that I think actually deserves the attention and affection it’s gotten, because it is that much of a phenomenon. It’s a deranged movie miracle that will have you confused and shocked into laughter, a bizarre artistic blunder that comes around once in a lifetime and we’re all lucky to be living during it.

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One Response »

  1. You have written an excellent review; it was very well-written. I have seen the movie myself and can agree with you completely that it is so bad that it’s good. The movie is absolutely hilarious. You cannot help but anticipate each scene, hoping that one will be funnier than the next. The movie has many flaws, but strangely, it is so entertaining that I want to watch it more than once. It is not one of those films where you squirm in your seat, wanting it to end. Instead, you want to embrace the film and all of its components, and invite others to share the experience with you. It’s not a film you would watch alone–it’s a film you would have a movie night for.

    Again, great review. I hope others are able to read your review, as well as watch this film.

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