Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Room: The Review

The Room is a "film" I've waited to see for quite some time. It's been floating around midnight screenings in Hollywood and New York since 2004, but Netflix just made the experience available on DVD two weeks ago. Naturally, I had the thing queued-up months ahead of time, but when that little red package finally showed up, I didn't watch it for another ten days because I figured two things: 1) I shouldn't watch it alone, and 2) I had to watch it with the right person/group of people. Both turned out to be accurate assumptions.

Set - for the most part - inside a curiously decorated apartment, The Room chronicles the dire results of a love triangle gone bad. What happens when a man's best friend starts sleeping with his fiance? Apparently, nothing much. This movie - originally marketed as being "infused with the intensity of a Tennessee Williams play" - was written, produced, and directed by Tommy Wiseau, the same creepy narcissist (you'll see what I mean if you watch) who stars in it. Conceived as both a stage play and a 500-page novel, Wiseau spent seven years illegally (?) raising funds for his "passion project," the result of which is a film so awful I've already almost watched it twice (I just couldn't make it through the fourth lengthy sex scene the second time around).

I don't know what I could say on here about The Room's imbecilic production, staggeringly awful final cut, and various celebrity/cult followings that Wikipedia doesn't already cover, so I'll just add my own opinion. Did I like it? No. Did I enjoy myself? Hell yes. At first I didn't know exactly how to react to what was happening onscreen, because - as is the case with all super shitty movies - it takes a while to acclimate to the craptastic quality of the proceedings, then turn those elements into a barrel full of laughs. Once you start, though, you won't easily stop.

Everything is just. so. horrible.

Characters who are never explained appear out of nowhere (literally) to finish the dialogue of other actors who walked off set, seemingly important plot lines ("the results came back positive... I have breast cancer") are introduced and then never referenced again, and time passes, well... funnily. The worst part of the whole thing (and, paradoxically, by far the most amusing), though, is Tommy Wiseau's portrayal of Johnny, the lethargic, long-haired, white-assed, clueless, suspicious, happy-go-lucky, and ultimately suicidal protagonist. He mumbles. He screams. He cries. He shows his ass... a lot. I can almost understand why Wiseau spent so many years dragging this project to fruition: he definitely comes across as caring very deeply about the subject matter, even if any sane audience might think there is none.

And there's so much more awesomeness involved. For serious. See it, or risk having your life remain exactly the same as it is now, with the addition of the two hours you didn't waste watching The Room. I know what I'd do.

1 comment:

simone said...

GAH! Katelyn and I were walking past the Red Vic today and I saw a poster for a midnight showing of The Room and I was like What-the-what we have to go see that! and then I realized that it was last night. BAH