The Room has been painted with plenty of different strokes. Wikipedia calls it “the Citizen Kane of bad movies.” Entertainment Weekly agreed, anointing director Tommy Wiseau as “the Orson Welles of crap.” Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 36 per cent rating, which is generous, considering Slate called it “physically trying to watch.”
Either way, it’s the 2003 indie-cult flick that made Wiseau a star on the midnight movie circuit and a veritable comicon A-lister (and hey, it also landed him a guest-directing slot on The Tim and Eric Awesome Show Good Job! Just sayin’). And if you’re going to catch one midnight screening all year, there are few that can rival The Room, playing at 11:00 pm on Friday, August 27 at The Uptown. Don't sleep: It's a one-off occasion.
Loosely put, it’s a black comedy about a lover’s triangle between Johnny (Wiseau), his fiancée Lisa (Juliette Danielle) his best friend (Greg Sestero) — we think. But actually, it’s a carousel of adopted-then-abanadoned plot tangents, barely-named characters and jarringly disjointed dialogue, mostly set in Johnny’s living room and rooftop (which features a San Francisco backdrop that looks straight out of the original Star Trek). And Wiseau — a man who simultaneously remembles a philanthropic Igor Kenk and a lobotomized salamander — is at its heart.
Then, there are the R&B-fuelled, painfully awkward sex scenes that the ambiguously-accented Wiseau has since made his trademark. Like, five of them. We suspect that it was enough to have ruined Danielle’s career; she hasn’t appeared in anything since.
But mostly, The Room is a patchwork of events with little sequence, correlation or narrative direction. Accordingly, this doesn’t feel like a story; it feels like a statement. Of what, exactly, we’re not quite sure.
But don’t listen to us. We’ll let the clips do the talking — no context required.
Here, moments of raw, visceral emotion:
There, riveting moments of real talk:
Elsewhere, thoughtful ruminations on the fairer sex:
Football as a genuinely befuddling motif:
And good old-fashioned destruction:
We repeat: If you’re going to one midnight screening all year, it should be The Room. Drinks will be available, so, in Wiseau's words, don’t worry about it.