With The Disaster Artist just around the corner, I thought that I’d jump on the bandwagon and watch Tommy Wiseau’s infamous “Citizen Kane of bad movies”, a cult classic, which is set in San Francisco and stars Wiseau as Johnny, a successful and well-liked banker who lives with his beautiful “future wife” Lisa (Juliette Danielle). But Lisa soon announces that she’s bored of Johnny and decides to take control of her own life by sleeping with his best friend (oh, hi) Mark (Greg Sestero), culminating in a final confrontation at Johnny’s surprise birthday party.
I’m guessing that all that can be said about The Room already has been – as I say, I’m hopping on the bandwagon, a bona fide Johnny-Come-Lately – but this film certainly lives up to its reputation because, while there are definitely worse films out there, The Room is hilariously awful and showcases a boatload of terrible writing, cringe-worthy performances, dodgy green screen and some of the most boring and awkward sex scenes ever seen in film.
Obviously the biggest problem is the writing and most every line of The Room is completely wrong, a barrage of misjudged lines that you can’t help but laugh at – such classics as “What a beautiful party! And you invited all of my closest friends – good thinking!” (as if that’s somehow a revolutionary idea!) should leave you with your mouth open in disbelief, that was certainly the case for me. Also, the story is pretty crazy; the whole infidelity plot thread is fairly standard but the film also throws in a fair share of side stories (the completely pointless and embarrassingly written/acted plot thread about the young Denny owing money to a drug dealer is an absolute doozy) and it often gets repetitive and meaningless – how many times do we need to see a scene between Lisa and her mother, talking about the same thing over and over again?!
The film even throws in a completely new character right at the end (apparently a last minute replacement for the character of Peter) and all in all, the narrative structure and overall writing is completely bungled and messy. Plus, character development is all over the place, with Mark continually alternating between wanting nothing to do with Lisa (because he and Johnny are best friends, don’t you know?) to willingly falling into her arms, not caring about Johnny at all.
The acting’s pretty dire too, which isn’t surprising considering the material that they were all made to work with, but I don’t want to name names because honestly, the central group of actors actually seem like a really nice bunch of people, ones you’d really like to hang out with and discuss their experiences on this film! So while everyone tries their best, God bless ’em, the performances in this film are awkward to say the least, delivering so many of their lines in an unintentionally hilarious, wooden manner.
Then there’s those troublesome sex scenes (apparently filling up a whole ten minutes of the film’s runtime) and they’re some of the most awkward, unnecessary and frankly boring sex scenes ever put to film and they make the first half hour of the feature seem like some lazy, mediocre softcore porn film – the aesthetics seem just about right and surely The Room‘s infidelity story is exactly the kind that you’d find in a film of that sort. (“Down with this sort of thing!” “Careful, now!”)
So yes, The Room‘s reputation for being a notoriously bad film is indeed justified (though the title of “Citizen Kane of bad movies” surely has to go to Plan 9 From Outer Space, right?) and I sure hope that I get to see James Franco’s Disaster Artist some time soon. The film is laughably bad but I’m glad that it didn’t end up like certain other bad movies – the unpleasant ones that leave a sour taste in the mouth afterwards – and that it was a unique experience that quite often left me agog, allowing me many, many unintended laughs along the way.
Maybe it was made with the best of intentions but The Room is hilariously awful – a cult classic full of shockingly horrendous writing, laughable performances and dodgy effects.
I’m sure that a Room drinking game exists out there somewhere but here are some suggestions for times you could drink during the film.
- The fact that “Johnny and Mark are best friends” is brought up (it’s seven times, apparently)
- The term “future wife” Or “future husband” is used
- Someone says “Oh, hi” or “Oh, hey”
- Lisa tells Mark that she loves him
- Johnny tells Lisa that he loves her
- Lisa says she doesn’t love Johnny any more
- Lisa’s mother does the “kiss finger, touch nose” thing
- Johnny laughs
- Someone says “It’s an awkward situation”
- There’s an embarrassing sex scene moment
And finish your drink after the now legendary “Oh, hi Mark” moment!