This review is my entry for the Review Tournament held at the LAMB called So You Think You Can Review. Since the identities of the losing participants have been revealed I've decided to re-edit this review and put it here.
The Room (Tommy Wiseau, 2003)
A happy-go-lucky banker sees his world fall apart when his friends begin to betray him one-by-one.
Presented as one of the worst movies of all time, Tommy Wiseau’s The Room was a real head scratcher to me. My interest was mitigated between a curious interest and a little discouragement. Just the poorly made poster with the use of a cheap font and the not-so-appealing face of Wiseau’s character Johnny doesn’t naturally bring you towards this movie. Plus the cheap looking cinematography that looks like a mix of soap and porn isn’t the thing that got me to rush towards the television and ask for more.
Moreover, this kind of actor/director à la Orson Welles or Clint Eastwood might be a sign of pure genius. But in this case it just looks as bad as Ed Wood Jr.’s films. Wiseau who self produced and financed his first film wanted to make his debut outside of the Hollywood system to make it just like he wants. This is, indeed, a very unique film. It might also be the worst film to ever be presented to the Academy. In an interview Wiseau declared that he filled the forms to get to be nominated for the precious statuettes. Well, you know your History and writing that he didn’t get nominated isn’t a real big spoiler here.
Why in the world would someone choose this film for a reviewing competition one would ask? Well, it’s for the film’s cult status just like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, people would dress like their favorite character and go to midnight representations of The Room. The movie actually toured in 2010 around the world and Wiseau would be attending some of these and talk before the actual showing.
At first I thought it was some kind of a joke on me when I begin to watch the “thing”. But when I thought that some people actually attend midnight screenings of this mess I now think that the joke is on them. Why? The plot is very stereotyped and the characters are so one sided that it is like watching a bad play filmed. The sets are so tiny that when the guys are throwing the football it is ridiculous how they throw the ball. And just like one of the films Wiseau loves, Citizen Kane a film so far away from The Room, he directs and acts in the film to do like Orson Welles did. However, Welles had a great talent at both, Wiseau is the complete opposite. He is the cheapest looking director and probably the worst ever actor I ever saw on film. His lines “Aha” reminded me of Beavis and Butthead and his mumbling of words and lines that looks like they were borrowed from well wishes cards weren’t my cup of tea if you let me borrow an expression myself.
The interactions between the characters are almost incestuous and Lisa (Juliette Danielle), Johnny’s fiancée is like pure evil while Johnny is the holier than thou. In real life no one acts like this and nobody is as black or as white. But the best thing I kept for the end are the sex scenes, because without them the story doesn’t hold together, I guess. Shot just like cheap soft core and using footage from one scene to the other. I even fast forwarded those scenes because I got bored to hear Tommy Wiseau’s sighing and worst watching his naked butt. First they are too often, too long and it is just a waste of time because the film doesn’t really needed them and it just destabilized because the movie practically opens with one and without being really graphic they kind of just put the movie on some kind of pause.
Well, The Room is the kind of cult film that may be discussed much longer about it flaws and surprising missteps. It still, nonetheless, earned some kind of recognition amongst film geeks. I suggest that you give it a try just to know what the fuss is all about. At least you now know a little much what you are about to watch. You’ve been warned. This way the joke will be on you too not just on me.