We meet successful banker Johnny (played by Tommy Wiseau), as he comes home to his beautiful San Francisco townhouse apartment to give his fiancée Lisa (played by Juliette Danielle) a red dress. Johnny has a fantastic life: he loves his fiancée Lisa, he has adopted and protects Denny, a neighbouring college student, and has a plethora of friends, Peter a psychologist, some random guy and, most notably his best friend Mark. Lisa however soon confesses to her mother Claudette that, apart from the financial security that Tommy gives her, she finds him incredibly boring. Soon, Lisa seduces Tommy’s best friend Mark, where wackiness ensues!
I have known about the Room for some time now, however I was ill-prepared for the massive turn-out at a late-night showing on a Saturday no less! Lining up amongst a crowd wearing black wigs and sporting footballs, I went into the cinema with my friends, collected a fistful of plastic knives and spoons, a brochure of things to yell at the screen and settled in for a quite a unique experience.
The Room is known as the worst movie ever-made and it is quite obvious to see why. What is an obvious vanity project from the movie’s director Tommy Wiseau, Tommy has micro-mismanaged every aspect of the movie while also giving himself all the credit!
Originally written as a play, Tommy Wiseau.developed and raised funds for the film version of the Room himself over a period of 5 years, raising 6 million dollars that went to the film’s production and marketing, and also for the rotating cast and crew. Buying a ‘complete beginning director package’ the movie is similar to Rebecca Black’s Friday: a packaged, ready to go product available for anyone who can afford it.
Unlike the super-low budget The Evil Dead which had its Director fundraise on nothing more than his perseverance and obvious talent, Tommy had millions at his disposal, which in better hands could have gone quite far. Drive for example was produced on a budget of 13 million.
The movie limits itself in terms of locations around the rented soundstage and of course, the Room. Characters spend time outside throwing a football around, upstairs having a chat and walking into Tommy’s apartment quite freely, one couple even coming in inexplicably to have sex.
Where The Evil Dead lost many of its cast during its overlong production, Sam Raimi had ‘Shemps’step into place, albeit under layers of prosthetic make-up. The Room made no allowances for actors leaving. Instead, the dialogue would be given to a new character without bothering to introduce them!
The movie has a number of plot-inconsistencies, continuity errors, bad dialogue and horrendous acting, mostly from Tommy himself. It is a vanity project in every way. Tommy’s on screen character is selfless: he has adopted a child, treats his ‘future wife’ as a princess, and helps his many friends out in any way he can, even grabbing a drug dealer and giving him over to police. Like the Mark Zuckerberg character in The Social Network, it is Tommy then who seems so out of place in this world that he created: amongst a roomful of young, flawed characters he is the sore thumb, with his acting being easily the worst amongst them.
The Room deserves the ire of an audience throwing cutlery and insults at the screen!
0 out of 5 spoons!
Luke McWilliams, December 2011