The Room (2003) [1/10]

The Room (2003)

Director: Tommy Wiseau

Cast: Tommy Wiseau, Greg Sestero, Juliette Danielle

Runtime: 100 minutes

My Rating: 1/10

In Short: Disastrously awful; a hilarious but unbearable failure

There is a cinema here in New Zealand that shows The Room once a month, every month, and crowds of people flock to experience it here. I was not lucky enough to watch it in the Dunedin Rialto theatre, but I did see it with a group of people, and had the most fun I’d had in a while. The only thing that would’ve made it more enjoyable is if we weren’t watching The Room.

The Room is written, produced and directed by Tommy Wiseau, whose name has become famous in the annals of bad movie history. His film is arguably one of the worst ever made that was intended to be taken seriously. It is a drama about Johnny (Wiseau himself), whose girlfriend contemplates leaving him for his best friend. However, you could be forgiven for mistaking the film for soft-core pornography – at least, in its first thirty minutes. There are numerous outrageously bad sex scenes that are scored to cheesy and unforgivably awful pop songs, and even Juliette Danielle’s nudity is not enough to redeem them even slightly. And this is only the beginning of the film’s long, long, long list of terrible failures.

The most noticeable of them all is the acting, which is some of the worst I’ve ever seen. I know little of Wiseau, but his foreign accent and limited understanding of the English language results in one of the most insulting screenplays ever written. The actors are even more degrading. Their minimal skills at acting is unbearably noticeable, and results in dialogue that could’ve been delivered better by pre-teens doing a school play. Wiseau “pays homage” to actors such as James Dean and directors such as Orson Welles but really only ends up defiling them. The most famous line in the film, “You are tearing me apart, Lisa!” is a reference to a similar line in Rebel Without a Cause, but it is a sudden outburst that really seems to come from nowhere and is so over-the-top that it is impossible not to laugh – or grimace.

Wiseau also takes advantage of the sexuality of his lead actress, a sexuality which surprise, surprise, is virtually nonexistant. Juliette Danielle’s acting is on a par with Wiseau’s in sheer awfulness, and Wiseau’s attempts to present her as a “femme fatale” are ludicrous. The editing and direction are also disgusting and all-over-the-place, as is the insistent score/soundtrack and the thousands of clichès that Wiseau uses with glee and good intentions. The dialogue is unbearable, and could’ve been more gramatically accurate if it were written by blindfolded monkeys. Wiseau’s choppy English is something we shouldn’t make fun of, but it really is terrible and worthy of ridicule due to the awful nature of its usage.

The film ends with another “homage” – this time to Citizen Kane. Enthusiasts of that film or classic cinema in general will be appalled by Wiseau’s take on the destruction scene at the end of the film; Wiseau tries his best to channel Welles by destroying his home, but his incredulous overacting is an absolute nightmare to experience, and goes on for far longer than it needs to. The Room is great entertainment if you watch it with others, and even more if alcohol is involved, but there is no other way to watch the film without wanting to shoot yourself in despair. So if you must see The Room, see it with a group. And bring spoons.

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Posted on March 11, 2012, in Movie Reviews and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Hahahahahaha, I don’t know why this movie even exists. But I’m glad that it does. If anyone says that an actual good movie ‘sucks’, I’d shove a copy of this in their face.

    No seriously, this movie is AWFUL. That’s what makes it so funny.

  2. I heard about crowds of people going to see this because it was so bad, so I succumbed to curiosity and rented it. It’s bad. Really, really bad. And not in a “so bad it’s good” way, but in a “so bad I hate myself for wasting time watching it” bad. The height of WTF? for me was them dressing up in tuxedos to throw a football around.

    There was an extra on the DVD that showed, among other things, that Wiseau actually filmed everything simultaneously with a film camera and a digital camera strapped together, because he didn’t understand what each camera was supposed to do, so he just used both then looked at the result afterwards.

    • I agree, there are funny parts, but I was not amused for most of it.

      That’s an interesting fact about the cameras. I wonder if that’s a really idiotic thing to do or a really smart one?

  3. So i guess this isn’t even a “so bad its good” one?

    • Well, there are many moments where you do laugh out loud at the awfulness of it all, but in general it’s too appalling to find funny.

  4. I’m definitely up for this. I hope it’s as absolutely terrible as it sounds.

  5. The irony is by giving this film a 1/10 rating you’re only solidifying its cult status. For me if someone tells me a film is terrible I have to see it. If someone tells me a film is a must-see I will put it on the back burner or may never end up seeing it.

    I the States the word of mouth for this dreck was so strong universities started having screenings with dress up and gimmicks as if it were the good old days of attending the midnight screening of Rocky Horror on a Friday night. Wiseau may be the devil of cinema but on the flip side he’s made film going an experience again.

    With a single film he has a significant place in cinema history. Touche Wiseau, touche.

    • Haha that’s an interesting point. However, I probably never would’ve seen this if a friend hadn’t suggested we all watch it together.

  6. I’m so glad you blogged about this. The Room is one of my favourite all time so-bad-it’s-good movies. I am a fan of this gem.

    The movie has an appalling original soundtrack, regurgitated sex scenes, characters that come in and then disappear without explanations, the most horrendous acting, and yet turns out to be a charmer.

    It’s evident that Wiseau started out making a drama (which is why this film is so bad that it’s good, because he was obviously trying to make a serious movie) & I read that in the original press releases he describes The Room as having “the passion of Tennessee Williams.”
    But what’s even more funny is that he now posits that this film was supposed to be an American black comedy. If you order the DVD from him (which he will sign for you) as many of my friends have, you will the film described as an “American black comedy.” What qualifies as an AMERICAN black comedy remains a mystery to me.
    The DVD is also great because it includes an interview where Greg Sestero voices questions to Wiseau from off-camera and there are some parts of the interview where the flawless dubbing technique used in the film is also used for this interview. Again, why the dubbing was necessary remains a mystery. But it sure makes for great fun!

    Wiseau is also an international man of mystery. From whence came this man with long locks that harken back to 17th century cavalier fashion and a body that seems to belong to an ex-steroid user with skin distended and thin over ghastly shaped musculature? No one knows.
    Also, I’m not sure if the name Wiseau is one I’ve ever encountered before. I asked a friend from France if it’s French, but he said not to his knowledge.
    Who really cares though, since Wiseau gave us such memorable moments as “I did naht hit her, I did naaahhhhttt” filmed against a green screen for no apparent reason.

    At the Rio theatre in Vancouver they give you spoons when you get there. They also encourage alcohol (sold at the theatre) & that you smoke up outside 😛

    A parody that I think is hilarious: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW28dYFNeWc

    • Haha that’s brilliant. I love that parody, and those are some fascinating facts about the film. It truly is a one-of-a-kind movie.

  7. I haven’t seen this one… but my word have you sold it to me now. I must see it!!

    HAHAH I jest obviously

  8. YES. Last year I attended a screening of THE ROOM with Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero in person. It was amazing. Tommy is just as unintelligible in person, and man, he sure loves to soak up all of the attention he gets. Greg looked mostly embarrassed to be there, heh, but he did say he is writing a book about his time working on the movie. Now THAT ought to be an interesting read.

  9. Ha, what a goddamn worthless movie. Did you know that Wiseau always had two cameras rolling – a digital and a film – so that he could “adjust to the times” once the movie was released? That probably contributed to its $7 million budget. Yeah, $7 million. No bullshit.

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