The Room: So Bad It's A Classic

June 7, 2011
Some movies are bad. Some movies are really bad. Some movies are so bad that they’re good. Then, there’s The Room. A 2003 romantic drama written, directed, produced, and starring first-time filmmaker Tommy Wiseau, The Room is a perfect example of what not to do while making a film. Ever. The story follows a banker named Johnny, played by Wiseau, who is engaged to Lisa, his manipulative future wife (not to be mistaken with Fiancée; the word itself never actually being uttered in the film). When she seduces Johnny’s best friend Mark mere months before their wedding, things take a turn for the…I’m not sure there’s a word for where they turn.

Please note, the rest of the review and analysis will include many spoilers, so beware. Not that it really matters…just keep reading.

From there, there are no words to explain the many atrocities that this film commits, whether it be having three extremely cheesy sex scenes within the first 20 minutes of the movie, the convoluted script which introduces plot points such as Lisa’s mother’s breast cancer that is mentioned once and never spoken about again, or Johnny’s “adopted” son Denny, and his convenient drug abuse that seems to pop in and out (actually it only pops in once, and the scene itself is just very awkward)? It could just be Wiseau himself, who just happened to come across $6 million dollars to make this film with, and completely ruined it, just because he was involved with it. As I watched the film, a part of me wondered, “How could this have been possible?”, and many other questions of that sort, but my real question is, what could’ve happened had this film been great? What if you took talented actors, plugged them in, and made the film? The answer is, I don’t really care, because in all honesty, I loved The Room for what it wasn’t, a good film. It’s really just 99 minutes of dialogue, with an objectionable ending, and even more objectionable characters who seem to break their own character constantly.

Years after its initial release, The Room still has constant midnight screenings all over the world, with appearances by Wiseau himself to talk about the film. I can’t think of many other films besides Troll II that have had this kind of following for being so horrendous. But therein lies the genius of The Room. It works around the concept of being so bad it’s good, and in the case, so bad it’s a classic. A cult classic. Like The Rocky Horror Picture Show or Pink Flamingos, but better. Or worse. It’s really all up for speculation.

I really also wanted to mention the ending, because it’s literally the worst suicide scene ever put on film. Johnny, broken-hearted when his fiancée, excuse me future wife, runs off with his best friend, and decides to kill himself. After unenthusiastically destroying everything in his house, Johnny pulls out a gun that really just comes out of nowhere, and shoots himself in the head. Now, this all seems tragic and depressing, but the way the scene is edited caused me to burst out in laughter. He pulls the trigger, and I guess his gun has a delayed reaction because you don’t actually hear the shot until about a second later, and then you see the side of his head fly back in slow motion. I mean, if that isn’t a death for the ages, I don’t know what is.

All in all, I don’t regret for one minute seeing The Room, in fact I’m extremely glad I did, and I think it’s something everyone should watch just as an experience. There will be no other filmmaker like Tommy Wiseau to ever hit Hollywood. Because he just went ahead and slapped it across the face.

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This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

crazy-ashbobash This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 8, 2011 at 2:33 pm
wow, that just sounds awful, the movie i mean, ur piece was very well written overall enjoyable!!
joey123mo replied...
Jul. 9, 2011 at 3:00 am
It's a truly awful film, but I think it may be my favorite too! And thanks for the positive review! I really appreciate it :D 
OutrageousTomb1 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jan. 13, 2015 at 4:18 pm
I can agree with you on that. The Room is really bad, but it's really enjoyable too.
OutrageousTomb1 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Aug. 2, 2015 at 12:15 pm
@joey123mo I will say this. If you're a fan, you have to see the midnight showing at some point. It's insane, with callouts such as "Cancer!" (when referring to Lisa's mom), and plastic spoons and footballs flying everywhere. Plus, Tommy Wiseau even appears at a number of the midnight showings. I actually met him at the one two nights ago. It was amazing. He's a really nice guy too, though pretty eccentric.
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