Cinema has simultaneously hit a new low and a new high with the transcendent soul-crushing experience of “The Room.”
This is it. This is that one film I will point to when asked about the worst movie of all time.
It’s not just casually bad.
It’s not “The Last Airbender” bad. It’s a freight train of unpleasantness helmed by a man who seemed to create the term delusions of grandeur.
But first, a little history.
“The Room” was an independent movie made back in 2003 by Tommy Wiseau, the director, writer, executive producer, producer and star.
In other words, Wiseau thought it would be a masterpiece, Hollywood disagreed and Wiseau backed the finances of the film himself.
The story tells the tale of Johnny (Wiseau), an all-around good guy who is a mentor to the orphan/son/cousin figure of Denny (Philip Haldiman), a friend to Mark (Greg Sestero) and an almost husband for Lisa (Juliette Danielle), whom Wiseau creepily refers to as his “future wife.”
Suddenly Johnny’s world is thrown upside down as his “future wife” starts to see Mark behind Johnny’s back.
Other subplots range from Lisa’s mom (Carolyn Minnott) coming down with breast cancer (it’s never brought up again), and Johnny tosses around a football with his friends in tuxedos, for no apparent reason.
I’m not kidding.
It was screened in Los Angeles, laughed out of the theater and considered to be a bomb. Then, in a “Rocky Horror” type twist, it was actually embraced as the ultimate cult film, a movie that takes a complete 180 turn from bad to good.
Currently being shown across the country to lively sold-out midnight screenings, the word of mouth on “The Room” has never been higher; and for good reason.
A YouTube search of “The Room” yields comedic gold all stemming from Wiseau’s acting and script, both equally terrible and enthralling at the same time.
However, watching three minute YouTube clips is one thing.
Watching the whole thing is the equivalent of staring into a black hole of complete and utter cinematic incompetence; it’s a trial by fire that recalls a famous quote from Friedrich Nietzsche, “that which does not kill us makes us stronger.”
And yet, after watching “The Room” I felt liberated in the knowledge that no matter how bad movies may get, they will never reach Wiseau-levels.
It’s mind-numbing terrible, everything it does is wrong and I can’t help but recommend it to others. It’s often been called the “Citizen Kane” of bad movies, and I think this is true.
While other films may be much worse, “The Room” definitely stands out due to the dominating force in charge of the project, Tommy Wiseau. What this man has made is a movie that should be studied on how not to make films.
If one wants a good laugh from “The Room” search YouTube or go to the midnight screenings. If one wants to experience the trial by fire, strap into the “A Clockwork Orange” chair and hit play—it really is unforgettable, for better or for worse.
If one wants to find “The Room,” I would recommend checking Amazon.com—it can’t be found in any store, which says a lot about the movie.