For those of you who have never seen Tommy Wiseau’s The Room, you have probably heard of it. In fact, you probably know the details of each painful scene simply through others revelling in its awfulness. Yet somehow, The Room, for all its (many) flaws, has become a cult classic and one of the most quotable films of the past ten years.
Directed by Wiseau in 2003, The Room is a drama centred around the love triangle between a successful banker Johnny (Wiseau), his girlfriend Lisa (Juliette Danielle) and his friend Mark (Greg Sestaro).
When Lisa becomes dissatisfied in her relationship with fiancé Johnny, she begins an affair with his best pal Mark. As Johnny carries on oblivious to her secret, Lisa claims to friends that Johnny has been domestically abusing her. You’d think this would reveal the truth behind their relationship, yet somehow it doesn’t. Whilst wronged ‘good guy’ Johnny copes with Lisa’s animosity, we are showered with irrelevant sub-plots involving minor characters, the best being Denny’s (Philip Haldiman) run-in with a drug dealer. Things finally reach climax at a surprise party when Johnny discovers that Lisa has been lying to him about her pregnancy shortly before she is outed by guests of her affair with Mark. No spoilers here, because things become even more tangled and confusing as the films wears on.
Hardly an Aristotelian piece of modern cinema, The Room is truly a bizarre car crash of a film that never actually reaches a moral conclusion. That being said, it is so hilariously terrible you’ll need to re-watch. Wiseau claimed upon its release that it was a black comedy though its plain to see, due to the quality of the acting and dialogue, that The Room is a drama gone awry.
Wiseau is weird and unnatural as Johnny with each of his lines are delivered with an air of inebriation, whilst everyone else in the cast is about as animated as a wet flannel. Characters such as Denny contribute no real function to the narrative yet to Wiseau, they obviously were meant to play an important part to the absurd tale he spins.
The over-dramatized soundtrack and unnecessarily long love scenes are outstandingly dreadful with pointless shots and plot devices thrown in at random. Johnny is portrayed as the victim to his evil fiancé Lisa though it is never explained why Lisa is so dissatisfied with kind, loving, doting dope Johnny in spite of his nauseating marathon love sessions, collection of silk shirts or hefty wallet.
The Room is great but for all the wrong reasons. Clearly, Wiseau has some unsung grievances which he personifies in Lisa, a temptress with no real motive. Whilst everything about this movie will have you crying out in frustration that a 15 year-old media student could produce a deeper commentary of sexual politics than this, you will also revel in its glorious failure by spending the entire 100 minute runtime laughing hysterically. Some of the golden one-liners that the cast deliver with total sincerity are equally as unforgettable.
Probably the greatest bad movie of all time, The Room is a must-see which will go down in history as one of the many reasons why a camera alone does not a movie maketh.
Best scene: The Flower Shop scene.
Worst line: ‘I definitely have breast cancer’.
Watch this if you liked: Watching the world through the eyes of someone who has no idea how to behave as a functioning human being.
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