The good, the bad, and the critic

Review: The Room

It is impossible to review Tommy Wiseau’s The Room (2003) with a straight face, mainly because it is awful, everybody knows it is awful, and we choose to watch it anyways. It fails on every level, but many find it entertaining because it’s such a failure.

In recent years it has become a cult phenomenon, on par with Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959). The cult following director Wiseau has gained is almost frightening.

The story takes place in San Francisco, where successful banker Johnny (Tommy Wiseau) lives, sharing a passionate relationship with his fiancée Lisa (Juliette Danielle). One day she decides to seduce his best friend out of boredom. Will their lives ever be the same again?

Unusual for a midnight-movie favourite, The Room does not consist of Equinox-esque monsters, surreal imagery, crazy clowns, or singing transvestites. Rather, it is shaped in the style of a conventional drama.

The difference between this and every other drama is the awful director behind the scenes. Conversations stop and start at random, major plot points are introduced and then scrapped throughout the film, and the acting is just unimaginably bad.

The Room views more like comedy than drama, though the audience is not laughing with the film; they are laughing at it. The humorous quality of the picture is clearly not intentional.

Wiseau himself suggests that his film should not be seen as a humiliating sideshow attraction, but rather as a complex work of art. One wonders if Wiseau is an idiot or a comic genius.

The Room is a complete waste of time to see, but it does its job as being so bad that it’s slightly funny. If you are a fan of watching completely stupid movies, then this is the film for you.

(No rating for this film)