Mar 23, 2011

The Room

I know I'm late to the party here, but at the coaxing of Gia and her family this past weekend I finally watched Tommy Wiseau's bad film opus/epic The Room.  And wow...just wow.  Everything that you've ever heard about this film is true.  It's awful.  BEYOND AWFUL.  Imagine the worst movie you've ever seen.  Then multiply that by the second worst movie you've ever seen.  Then the third, and so on and so on and so on.  The result might come close to approaching the absolute atom bomb of a bad movie that is The Room.  Maybe. 

I loved it!

And not because I believe Wiseau was trying to make a black comedy, as he now claims.  Something that is supposed to be bad.  But because I think it's obvious that he was trying to do the exact opposite.  It really looks like he was trying to make an earnest romance/drama.  Even though he had no experience with film-making whatsoever.  That's obvious to anyone who watches the film.  But it certainly looks like he was trying his best.  So the truly awful final product makes it even more tragic/wonderful.

You have to see this film.  It's...beyond comprehension.

The plot, what little plot there is, revolves around a sordid love triangle between Johnny, his future wife* Lisa and his best friend Mark.  Lisa has (maybe?) fallen out of love with Johnny and has seduced the morally ambivalent Mark.  She might now be in love with Mark, but it's hard to tell.  Because the most oft-repeated line of the movie is "I don't want to talk about it".  Lots of hemming and hawing and back and forth as Lisa plies her moves on both of her dim-witted suitors. 

*The word "fiancee" is never used in the film.  Just "future wife" or "future husband", both of which are used over a dozen times.  So freaking odd.

Along the way there are sub-plots that are introduced and dropped at super-sonic speed.  Like Lisa's mother's cancer.  Or the neighbor kid Denny and the money he owes to drug dealers.  Or the football game that breaks out between the fellas in an alley while they are all wearing tuxedos.  That one is never explained at all.  Neither is the title of the film, by the way.  In interviews, Wiseau claims that he named it The Room to emphasize a safe place that everyone has.  Something as simple as a room.  I dunno how that fits into non-existent plot of the film, but that's his semi-explanation. 

But really the plot is mainly used as connective tissues between the dozen or so sex scenes that Wiseau builds the film around.  Five minutes into the film we are treated to the soft-core sexual stylings of Wiseau and Juliette Danielle, the young lady who stepped off a bus (literally) and into Wiseau's film.  We are subjected to seeing Wiseau's horrific body over and over and over again.  I mean, I guess he's in shape.  But between his awful hair, awful accent (see below), awful acting and awful musculature...I dunno.  It's as if an ape was shaved and taught (barely) how to speak.  At some point, seeing that shaved ape run around naked would get, um, kinda creepy.  Put some pants on, Kong.  That's how it felt to see Tommy Wiseau constantly naked. 

Wiseau himself is a bit of a mystery.  He claims to be an American, born in New Orleans.  But his accent is clearly French...or Eastern European...or, damn.  Ok, his accent isn't "clearly" anything.  But it's definitely thick.  He claims to have come up with the $6 million it cost to make The Room by importing and selling leather coats from Korea.  He refuses to elaborate any further on which Korea he means, but this film has all the markings of something that Kim Jong-il might be involved with. 

Do yourself a favor.  Get a copy of The Room, get some friends together, serve some cocktails and enjoy the ride.  There's a reason why it's become a cult classic among a crowd much hipper than myself.  Yet I'm just hip enough to recognize genius or total lack thereof when I see it.  Lack thereof, thy name is Tommy Wiseau.


Jimmy said...

Whne you say bad, you mean worse than any filum starring Sylvester Stallone?

Paticus said...

"You're tearing me apart, Lisa!"

Slyde said...

ive avoiding watching it just because ive heard so much about it, i think that the comedy element is going to now be lost on me and itll be a big waste of time.

is it on netflix instant?

That Hank said...

The Room: The Game

Verdant Earl said...

Jimmy - Oh yeah. Not even close.

Paticus - Turns out Wiseau was a big fan of James Dean. Go figure, eh?

Slyde - Same thing for me, but I finally gave in and loved it. Make sure you watch it with other people though. Better that way.

Hank - I've seen that it's out there, but I haven't played. Yet. :)

sybil law said...

So, I should WANT to see the shitty movie?

Kevin McKeever said...

I've read 2 write ups on The Room in extended article in EW over the last two years. Gonna be tough to beat Beverly Hill Chihuahua and Shark Boy and Lava Girl, bro.

Verdant Earl said...

Sybil - Abso-fucking-lutely!

Uncool - I've seen Shark Boy and Lava Girl (in 3D!!!), and it's not even in the same league as this one. This is gloriously the worst movie ever made.

Paticus said...

It is pretty much in a class by itself...Though Earl, have you ever seen "Troll 2" and "Death Bed: the Bed that Eats"? I found Death Bed through this Patton Oswalt bit:

Verdant Earl said...

Paticus - I've seen Troll 2 and it was awful. Truly awful. The Room was worse. Never heard of the other one though!

hello haha narf said...

i am clearly missing something because i don't understand why you *want* me to watch a bad movie.
you are weird.

Verdant Earl said...

Becky - I am most certainly weird. But I'm not the only one. This one has become a cult classic among a segment of movie fans specifically because of how bad it is. I can't imagine watching it home alone, but with a group of like-minded friends and some booze? That's a party!

hello haha narf said...

Is that an invitation?

Verdant Earl said...

Becky - Next time I have a viewing, you're in!