On The Room

The Room is a movie by Tommy Wiseau that he directed, wrote, produced, and starred in.  As you might guess from such a wealth of positions, it was no large effort for him to arrange two sex scenes for himself in the first fifteen minutes of the movie.

The first one happens before we know who the characters are, before we know what the plot is, before we’re centered in the film at all besides knowing we are in San Francisco. (Later in the film, almost every scene is framed with establishing shots that seem almost longer than the scenes themselves.) Like that sex scene, not much in this movie makes sense or ties together except in the most general way.

One character has breast cancer, but after being a throwaway line in the middle of the scene, it’s never mentioned again.

One character has a drug problem.  This is shown by having a gangster corner him on the roof of his building and threaten him for not having the money.

One character mentions that her pregnancy was a lie, which is not all that shocking since this is the first we’ve heard of the pregnancy.

There’s a wedding, there’s football, there’s a party where all the drama takes place, and a suicide, and it all seems to happen within the space of a few days.  Or months.  Or years.  Really, it’s hard to tell.

Here, see what you can make of this:

Since The Room was released in 2003 it has been playing almost nonstop in LA.  This is because Tommy Wiseau has paid for it to be shown in a local theater for years upon years, hoping against hope (I assume) that the genius of the film would spread through word of mouth and one of these years he’ll rake in all the awards there are.

And part of his plan was a success.  The film has developed a cult following, just not perhaps the kind Wiseau imagined while making the film.  Originally the film was presented as a sort of epic drama, but by the time the DVD was released, Wiseau had rebranded it as a “quirky new black comedy.”  What it actually is is a movie so bad and ineptly written and directed and acted (for the most part; there are two semi-good actors, though the one playing Peter disappears inexplicably from the film after only a few scenes) that there is no way to watch it and enjoy it except as unintentional camp.

Megan wanted to see the midnight movie showing of The Room at the River Oaks Theatre for her birthday, so yesterday, at around midnight, we found ourselves in said theatre preparing to watch, for the first time on the big screen, The Room.  We had forgotten to buy spoons.  We had decided not to dress up.  We were completely unprepared.

Having watched The Room three times, having watched several interviews of Wiseau, having seen him recite a sonnet, having seen him parody himself in The House That Dripped Blood on Alex, Megan and I think that there are two possibilities:

A. Tommy Wiseau is exactly what he seems – a clueless entrepreneur who is making the most of his unintended fame who has a lot of money and a talent for making horrible, horrible works of art.  Um… “art”.

B. Tommy Wiseau’s entire public life is a work of performance art.

That latter choice seems more obvious every time I see him in a movie, a television show, an interview, since it seems impossible that Wiseau is possibly a real person.  But don’t take my word for it.  Make your own decision:

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