The Room is perhaps a well known film for the incorrect reasons. Back in 2003, Tommy Wiseau directed, produced and starred in his directorial debut. One may agree (for those that have seen the film), Tommy really follows his dreams and his vision. I’d doubt anyone would have a counter argument about his passion for filming.
Now, what is exactly is this film about and what made this film get its cult status? The story is a simple one if only read, but not watched. The Room is about Johnny whom is a successful banker that is currently engaged to his long-time girlfriend, Lisa. Johnny is such a good guy that he is in process to adopt his neighbor (which he also takes care of his education and financial needs), Denny. So far…not the most interesting plot; however, ten minutes into the film and after an awkward love-making scene, Lisa pursues Johnny’s best friend, Mark.
Their secret relationship is as odd as her relationship with Johnny. Every time Mark has sex with Lisa, he also forgets that he is involved in it as well. He feels guilty…still sleeps with her. Not to spoil the entire movie for those that are curious because of The Disaster Artist or The Room, what grabs the viewer is Wiseau and the various inconsistent narratives encapsulated in 99 minutes.
Let’s face it, this movie is a mess. Still, its a mess that keeps you on your toes. As many have said before which I agree, this is a film that must be watched with at least a companion to fully understand it. Besides the bizarre protagonist, it’s the editing and amateurish decisions by the debutante.
The Room does have iconic moments that became well-known memes and laughable quotes. For me, its the roof scene where Johnny is upset by Lisa’s false accusation of domestic violence. He bursts out of the door and as mentioned in The Disaster Artist that Tommy kept forgetting the lines he wrote.
Another memorable character is Denny. He is clearly not a young person, but his character is a creep. However, he has a crush on Lisa. To the point that he almost interrupted their romantic night by saying,
I just like to watch you guys.
What the bleep does he mean with that?! What has he seen before this?!!! In another scene, he bluntly asks if he could kiss her. Why?!!! What a creep?!
Lastly, Mark is of course another major force of this story. As mentioned earlier, he is Johnny’s best friend and a hypocrite. No one knows exactly what Mark does for a living, yet he appears when Lisa is alone. What’s your job, dude? Another odd narrative is that he gets high and got violent with one of the minor characters in the film. After his violent drug moment, it fades away and he is back to normal…unrealistic. The lack of reality is actually thanks to the editing that occurred as well.
There are plenty of amateurish editing decisions. Starting with Lisa and Tommy’s love scene. It happens during the first ten minutes of the film and perhaps twenty minutes later the same scene is repeated. During another sex scene, the soundtrack skips and this was not caught.
More inconsistencies! Tommy’s flower shop scene is another example. The shop owner does not recognize Tommy, but he is her favorite customer? How? Moving onto another famous detail is the pictures of the spoons throughout the apartment. (Yes, pictures of spoons most likely taken with a Kodak disposable camera.) This observation of the spoons has not been ignored because the midnight screenings of this film is notorious for the audience throwing plastic spoons during the movie. Tommy was asked about the spoons a few years ago and he gave a random psychological reasoning about his choice of photographing spoons. Much like the film, his answer didn’t make much sense.
*Check the interview on Youtube.com regarding his answer about the spoons*
Now, one of my favorite moments in The Room is his argument with Lisa.
You are tearing me apart Lisa!
Many may not know that Tommy was channeling James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause. Johnny’s reaction is over-the-top because he already knew that Lisa was cheating on him and starts recording her conversations. Yes, with a cassette tape. 2003 cassette tapes were in a major decline because of the CD’s and the iPod’s were starting to shape digital music and video by storm…but a cassette fits with The Room anyway.
These are just minor examples why this film grasps your attention. The Room clearly has all of the necessary ingredients to become a comedic force in the following years. Although the film gained $2,000 on its initial release, the midnight screenings is what created this cult and popularity of The Room.
The Room is more than a movie that is poorly made, but it is an experience. Obviously not an Oscar one; however, if I were given the option to watch The Room and Aloha. I would pick The Room because its enjoyably bad. Aloha is a terrible film. Great actors, a famous director and a story that was careless.
Overall, I recommend watch The Room before The Disaster Artist. I am fully convinced that by watching The Room first will give the viewer a better understanding of those iconic moments of the original film and why its result was disastrous.
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