Film Review: The Room

23 March 2011

The Room

Tommy Wiseau- 18 – 99 mins

Christ’s Film

Tommy Wiseau’s The Room is one of the only films that can claim to be genuinely unique. It tells the story of Lisa, who has an affair with her future husband Johnny’s best friend, Mark. This relatively believable plot line is introduced very graphically with excruciating close-up nudity in the first 15 minutes. Until the final scene not much else happens.

The rest of the film features a montage of scenes of varying degrees of relevance to the plot. In one, the main characters dress up in tuxedos and throw around a football. No explanation is given for this behaviour. In another, Lisa’s mother announces cheerfully that she ‘definitely’ has breast cancer. Lisa doesn’t react and there is no mention of this again. Much of the rest of the script is dedicated to characters saying ‘hi’ and ‘bye’ to each other.

However, for what The Room lacks in plot development it makes up for in charm. Rarely does a film incite the audience to cheer, applaud and cry with laughter. Rarely do cinema-goers throw plastic spoons at the screen and shout suggestions to the characters.

Everything about The Room, from the script to the acting and even the cinematography, is truly appalling. At one point a picture frame actually falls on the camera lens.

Wiseau managed to write, direct, executive-produce and star in the film. That might make him seem to be some sort of visionary talent. He’s not. In fact, his performance is one of the worst things about the film, delivered in a baffling accent that would make Schwarzenegger proud. This is magnified by the fact that most of the dialogue was dubbed in post-production, leaving little of it matching the cast’s lip movements.

However there comes a point that a piece of art is so incomprehensibly bad that it becomes genius. The Room isn’t mediocre; it’s positively and emphatically awful beyond belief. For this reason it is in a class of its own.

Theo Zhang

Image: Wiseau Films