Typically, bad movies fade to obscurity quite quickly. Remember “Movie 43?” Of course not. Nobody does. It was terrible.
“The Room” has stuck around, despite being one of the worst movies ever made. The sets are bad. The music is bad. The plot is bad. The rooftop green screen is bad. The acting is atrocious. The awkward sex scenes are so numerous viewers have mistaken “The Room” for softcore porn.
Yet, “The Room” works despite all this nasty awfulness. Your attention will be kept the entire time, whether it is from footballs, spoons, dogs, pizza, sex, drugs, guns, puzzling accents or breast cancer.
Tommy Wiseau serves as producer, director, writer and star of “The Room.” In reality, Wiseau is a mysterious man of undetermined origin who is best described as a cross between Borat, Count Dracula, Christopher Walken and an alien.
In the film, Wiseau channels his best impression of Orson Welles in “Citizen Kane” to spin the tale of a successful white-collar guy named Johnny (played by Wiseau) who loses it all when his fiancée future wife Lisa (Julliete Danielle) begins an affair with his best friend, Mark (Greg Sestero). That’s basically it.
One day, Lisa becomes inexplicably bored of Johnny and begins sleeping with Mark, who just sort of goes along with the affair for no particular reason.
Wiseau’s plot is flimsy and it stops constantly for two reasons.
First, there is the sex, which comes constantly and serves only as a green light to visit the bathroom or purchase something at the snack bar.
Then there are the conversations between Lisa and her often visiting mother that do nothing to move the picture along except act as another opening to grab popcorn or make out with whoever you dragged to this awful movie.
Crew members, including Greg Sestero who wrote an entire book about his experience called “The Disaster Artist,” have claimed Wiseau’s original intention was to make the greatest dramatic film ever made. Apparently, Wiseau’s intention was to cram as many relevant topics into the film, like drug use and breast cancer, to make it relevant. This ends up creating six or seven plots that are started and then never concluded or revisited.
Truthfully, nobody sees “The Room” for the plot. “The Room” turns the movie-watching experience upside down. The only thing comparable as far as audience participation is “Rocky Horror.” Attendees throw plastic spoons at the screen, play catch with footballs, yell out the lines, laugh, cheer and pretty much whatever. Wiseau always tells audiences at screenings he attends, “You can laugh, you can cry, you can express yourself—but please don’t hurt each other.” Basically, it is a fun time.
Wiseau has said one needs to watch “The Room” 100 times to understand all the references and messages he inserted into the film. I cannot imagine watching “The Room” 100 times or being enlightened by doing such a brain melting activity. But, if you have not seen “The Room,” it is tremendous fun and it provides and audience experience you will never forget — or repress with effort.
Maybe critics don’t understand Wiseau’s art. Maybe the framed pictures of spoons decorating Johnny and Lisa’s apartment represent a larger message about consumerism and the loss of sincerity in our postmodern society. Perhaps throwing a football three feet apart signifies the males of the film’s lack of confidence in their relationships.
Maybe when Wiseau makes a “cheep cheep” noise when impersonating a chicken instead of clucking, it signifies his disillusion with reality as his fiancée future wife drifts away. Heck, maybe the script’s use of “future wife/husband” over fiancée is soaked in meaning. Or maybe “The Room” is just a bad movie.
Still, “The Room” is worth your time. It may not be the greatest drama ever made, but it may be the greatest unintentional comedy ever made. The film is hilarious, memorable, entertaining and insanely quotable.
You can experience Tommy Wiseau’s disaster-piece “The Room” at 10 p.m. Friday, April 28 at the Fargo Theatre. Tickets are $5, which is cheep, cheep, cheep. Unless you’re a chicken, Mark.