The Room editorial

HEY! The Art Theater’s screening Tommy Wiseau’s masterpiece, The Room on the weekend of September 2, 3, 4, and Thursday the 8th! Even if you’ve seen the movie on DVD, you ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO SEE IT LIVE! Closest perhaps to midnight screenings of Rocky Horror, The Room‘s has weird rituals and antics all its own. Plus, the Art’s screening it for only $5! Bring your spoons!

A Room? No, The Room!

If you’ve never heard of The Room, start here. The Room stands a good chance at being the worst movie ever made. Its plot is nonsense, the acting is terrible, the script, direction, scenery a total mess–everything about the movie screams, “The person who made this must be a total idiot.”

Tommy Wiseau is that idiot. The film’s director, writer, producer, executive producer, and protagonist wears many hats–all of them are big, floppy hats that make him look very silly. The Room cost 6 million dollars (every cent seems wasted) earned from suspicious leather jacket exporting; Wiseau filmed in high-definition and standard def. because Wiseau wasn’t clear on the difference between the two (costing millions extra and completely unusable footage); actors left production on the movie before it finished, then capriciously recast; just a few months ago, years after The Room‘s release, Wiseau’s director-credit was challenged by numerous members of the film’s script producer claiming that Wiseau had no idea what he was doing. The whole thing seemed a gigantic cluster-fuck until something peculiar happened: despite the movie being advertised as a drama, premier audiences laughed from start to finish. Behold the glory of subjective interpretation! Now, The Room is a legitimate cult classic success! Midnight screenings are held across the country, and, because of his introductions and appearances at those screenings, Tommy Wiseau is an internet celebrity. O, the crazy, 21st century world in which we live!

Since movies are expensive, Hollywood does its best not to release expensive, amateur films that have no way of making back their money. Thankfully, we live in an age of handi-cams and Twitter: anybody can make a shitty movie and everybody else can find out how shitty it is. Some folks (including Wiseau himself) call The Room a “Citizen Kane of bad movies”. I agree. The Room champions its auteur a relentless, directorial vision–a vision from the weird, droopy eyes of a man who’s never seen a movie in his entire life. Kane is remembered for its rich narrative, its attention to detail, and its articulation of cinematic language. The Room does none of those things; it does the opposite of all those things. The Room‘s narrative is so banal, so trite; however, the collection of unresolved plot threads give it the illusion of complexity. Every aspect of The Room looks haphazardly compiled, like everything was bought at Home Goods the day before. As for cinematic aesthetic, The Room is a cross between Cinemax skin-flick and corporate training video.  I feel a tension I doubt will ever be resolved when it comes to The Room. Where did I learn so much trivia? How can I quote so many lines? Why am I so in love with such a shitty movie?

Perhaps that answer lies with Wiseau’s utmost sincerity. Remember: the movie was initially billed as a drama. Wiseau thought this movie was worth making; heck, he thought it was worth 6 million dollars! People say The Room is like Rocky Horror, but that’s certainly more in reputation than in content. Most cult classics (Troll 2; anything Ed Wood) are horror movies that aren’t scary. The Room really is unique; no other shitty movie is like it. In a way, isn’t that what makes a good movie? Well, that’s merely one thing; unfortunately, it’s the only thing The Room’s got.

Relive it through these choice quotes. Make sure to use your Tommy Wiseau voice!

These are some of the movie’s best quotes, in order of utterance, so you can replay the entire film in your mind’s eye right this second!

Two’s a party, three’s a crowd; So how’s your sex life?; I did not hit her, it’s not true! It’s bullshit! I did not hit her! I did not! Oh hi, Mark! Hi doggie!; You’re my favorite customer!; Chocolate is the language of love; Anything for my princess!; I got the results back and it’s offical: I definitely have breast cancer; You are tearing me apart, Lisa!; WHAT KIND OF DRUGS DENNY?; You’re not my fucking mother! He beat her up so bad, she wound up in a hospital on Guerro St.,  HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!; I feel like I’m sitting on an atomic bomb waiting for it to go off; You just a chicken, Cheeep cheeeeep cheep!; Don’t touch me matherfucker! (sic); Leave your *stupid* comments in your pocket! Everybody betrayed me! I fed up with this world!

Stuff to Bring to a Screening:
Like all midnight-movies, you need to make up weird traditions otherwise the shitty video starts to get boring. The Room is no different. While its subculture may seem daunting to a neophyte, all you really need to know is one thing: be drunk and throw spoons liberally. This section was adapted from House Of Qwesi “A Viewer’s Guide to The Room” published on The AV Club. Go read it!

Spoons! – Can’t watch The Room without spoons; they’re so important most screenings hand them out at the door. Spoons are kind of the best part about The Room. Completely unexplained or related to the plot, pictures of tacky pictures of spoons line The Room’s room and pop-up all movie. Whenever you see the spoon painting, throw spoons at the screen. As the movie keeps going and people get drunker, you can throw spoons whenever. Rarely will you be in a situation that encourages you to throw so much plastic cutlery–take advantage of it!

Footballs – There’s a scene in the movie where the characters play footballs in suits. Suddenly, one of them trips, falls, dies and is never heard from again. The moral is: if you and your friends play football in the theater, be careful! Don’t break the screen or the projector! Underhand tosses only! Don’t kill your friend! Just toss it gentle, like dad used to. And remember, nobody likes a stuck-up hunk! Share your football with the other boys!

Scotchka – Johnny doesn’t drink, but when Lisa mixes him this tastey concoction, he sips it right down. Is it because Scotchka is the most delicious drink of the decade? Absolutely not, fuck no. Skotchka is terrible and proves that Wiseau must be an alien from another planet because no human being in the history of ever would want to drink this. If you bring/buy Skotchka for a screening, be prepared to find yourself in the bathroom making out with someone wearing a Primus t-shirt and missing the end of the movie.


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