There is nothing else like The Room. So this is all about a man named Johnny (Tommy Wiseau). He has a pretty good life with a beautiful girlfriend (Juliette Danielle), a great best friend to throw a football around with (Greg Sestero) and a job at the bank where a promotion is surely just around the corner. But when his girlfriend inexplicably gets bored and decides to cheat on Johnny with his best friend, nothing will ever be the same. Even if you’ve never seen this movie, chances are pretty good that you’ve at least heard about it. It is a movie that lives in infamy, being one of the most glorious burning train wrecks in all of cinematic history. It is something you can talk about, sure, but you really don’t know the shit-show explosion that it truly is until you have experienced it for yourself firsthand.
I’ve shared this with many a friend, and please believe me when I tell you that it is possible to undersell.
Now I know all about the history of this because I’ve read the book The Disaster Artist that details all of the colossal mistakes on the production of this. I also had a few drinks with the author of the book and the star of The Room, Greg Sestero, but that’s a story for a different day. The thing about making a movie like this is that you cannot set out to intentionally make a bad movie, because it is going to ring false with your audience. There has to be some ambition, some misdirected drive to make something special, and that was exactly what happened here. Tommy Wiseau’s name is all over this as director, writer, producer and star, and this is his baby and his vision. He changed his tune after the reception of this, saying that it was meant to be a dark comedy, but there is not a chance that is what he intended while he was putting this together. This is his outlook on life, and you can tell that be believed in this project wholeheartedly, but I don’t think anybody will ever know what happened in his past or where he really came from.
Or if he is actually a vampire.
If you’re going to watch this for your first time, you are just going to have to trust that I haven’t recommended you a soft-core porno, because it hits you with back-to-back quasi artistic sex scenes in the first fifteen minutes. It is a movie that never stops topping itself, and just when you think that you’ve witnessed the extent that this is going to reach, it hits you with the scene with Chris R., or the emphatically delivered line of the movie. You will find yourself quoting The Room in your spare time, and chances are that your local art house movie theater will probably do a midnight showing of this from time to time, which makes for a terrific interactive experience a la Rocky Horror Picture Show. It’s the only “bad” movie that I will award a perfect score to, and will likely be the one exception to my grading scale because I’ve developed such a relationship with this movie.
The Room (2003) *****
– Critic for Hire