The Zero Hour

Reviews, rants and oddities on video game and film culture.

The Room is tearing me apart – A Review

We’ve all heard of The Room, the infamous debut from Tommy Wiseau that’s been dubbed “the Citizen Kane of bad movies”, you know, the movie with the atrocious acting, the undecipherable accent from the lead character and sub plots that don’t go anywhere. Sounds like a car crash, right? Well yes and no, it’s like a clown car crash, horrific but hilarious.

The fact is, the movie has spawned this huge cult following thanks to the internet and by god, is it a wonderful experience to witness the movie with them. You can buy the film, watch it at home and laugh at the world of ham, bad dialogue and awkwardness that it inhabits and you can probably enjoy it but that’s only half of it, . Go to a cinema screening of it and whenever Johnny’s spoon picture is shown, the audience yells “SPOON” and throws plastic cutlery at the screen. All the famous lines are re-enacted and the audience participate in ways that just make you grin from ear to ear that for about 90 minutes, you forget why you hated humanity and feel a part of something.

But enough about the fandom, and onto the movie, is “the citizen kane of bad movies justified”? Yes. It is an awful movie. Johnny, the lead character is a pathetic mopey un-interesting lead with a silly accent, his fiancé Lisa is a bitch who just moans for the whole movie, her mother is really annoying, Mark is a complete blank and Denny’s an idiot. It’s like the whole film is set in a universe where everyone is moronic and whilst I can happily go ahead and blame the actors, the script is poor that I’m surprised there even was one. The now iconic dialogue is laughable and as stupid as it appears; Many a scene starts with them walking in the house, talking about something and a character going “I don’t want to talk about it” and then scene ends. The entire storyline just repeats itself for most of the time, with the same conversation of Lisa hating Johnny, yet it never gets tiring…maybe because of the constant yelling of “Because you’re a woman” whenever anything was said to her. Its riddled with plotholes, such as Denny’s drug money, the breast cancer, the entire sub-plot with the friend who just shows up at the end and acts like an important character. Occasionally a character will make a comment on the situation and you’ll think “Hang on, are they poking fun of the sheer idiocy of this story?” “Is this INTENTIONALLY bad? This is getting too meta” and then someone will do something unintentionally stupid and karmic balance is restored.  I bet Tommy Wiseau only did one draft, yell “DONE!” and then spend the rest of the pre-production time to figure out how he was going to shoot the sex scenes.

Yes. Sex scenes. There are a total of 5 altogether in this movie and each one is far too long and mentally scarring, despite the fact I’m convinced they re-used the same shots for the second one of Johnny and Lisa. Here’s the thing, the film is 90 minutes long, about 40% of this is establishing shots and sex scenes. No exaggeration.  It’s not like either party is attractive, I heard physical groans of disgust from people in the audience with Lisa being described as “a beached whale” by the woman behind me. None of these add anything to the plot whatsoever and are just…wrong.

But I digress, The Room is best described a rare film that does just about everything wrong, but it does it in such a way that it’s almost impossible to hate it and when watched in the presence of others, it becomes the most enjoyable cinema experience I’ve had in a long while. If there’s a screening somewhere near you, go buy a ticket and some plastic spoons. You won’t regret it.

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