Wednesday, October 9, 2013

A Review of the Worst Film Ever Made: The Room

Hello everyone, Dana here. If you are reading this, congratulations. You're reading my first official blog post! I figured I'd start out with a movie review! What you are about to read is a thoroughly thought out review of one of the worst films ever made in the 21st century. I will be reviewing the 2003 independent film The Room.
Alright, so I have come to terms that this film is a prime example of what a movie producer should not do! The story is clichĂ©, the use of stock footage is excessive and inappropriate, there are several plot holes regarding minor characters, the dialogue is redundant, and the acting is extremely poor due to the cast’s lack of acting experience.

Let me begin with a brief summary and back-story to this film. The Room is directed, executively produced, and written by Tommy Wiseau, the actor who portrays the main character in the film. The story of The Room takes place in San Francisco, and
revolves around a successful banker named Johnny who has a fiancĂ© named Lisa. However, Lisa falls in love with Johnny’s best friend Mark, and has an affair with him because she thinks Johnny is “boring.” Johnny eventually finds out about it and ends up shooting himself in the head. With that kind of a story, the film is pretty much a soap opera that’s been extended to an hour and forty minutes. Every melodrama has a love triangle, but that love triangle shouldn't be the entire premise of the film. There are three sex scenes that occur within the first 25 minutes of the film and sappy ballads are dubbed over the sex scenes along with moans and sighs. If I didn't know any better, I thought I was watching a porn film with a high budget.

Films have establishing shots that show where the scene is supposed to take place. During the opening credits of The Room, there are multiple exterior shots of ambiguous places before there is a well-known shot of skyscrapers and trolley cars that tell us that it takes place in San Francisco. There are also multiple establishing shots before dialogue commences. There is so much stock footage of exterior shots, but 98% of the film takes place in Johnny and Lisa’s apartment. For example, Tommy Wiseau decided to take a wide shot of a church in San Francisco as an establishing shot. Meanwhile, the interior scene takes place in the apartment. This throws off the audience because they expect the scene to take place inside of the church. More unnecessary stock footage is used when Wiseau decided to take a pan shot of the Golden Gate Bridge from left to right and visa versa for 15 seconds each. Another example of unnecessary stock footage is used towards the end of the film; Wiseau takes an extreme wide shot of buildings and skyscrapers at night and pans to the left for a total of twenty seconds. Meanwhile, the next scene takes place in the same setting as the previous scene.

There are subplots in every film and television show since the emergence of the cinema. All subplots are supposed to have a resolution at the plot’s conclusion. However, there are several plot holes throughout the entire film. None of the minor characters in the film are introduced nor have any back story. The first plot hole in the film takes place when Lisa confides in her mother, Claudette, about having an affair with Mark. Suddenly, her mother nonchalantly says “I got the results of the tests back…I definitely have breast cancer.” The breast cancer subplot is never brought up nor is it ever mentioned again. The next plot hole takes place when Lisa’s friends, Michelle and Mike, walk into Johnny and Lisa’s apartment to engage in sexual activities. They were never mentioned prior to that scene, nor do they have back stories. They are not introduced until Lisa and Claudette walk in on them, so the audience wonders why these unknown characters are engaging in sexual activities in a random apartment. Claudette even asks "What are these characters doing here?" to Lisa after they walk in Mike and Michelle. I think this was not only a rhetorical question to Lisa, but also a question the viewers are trying to ask while watching this scene. However, the most significant subplot that occurs is a confrontation between a college student named Denny and a criminal named Chris R regarding a drug interaction on the rooftop of the apartment. Chris R holds Denny at gun point screaming where the money is. Johnny and Mark suddenly appear and take Chris R to the police after a brief fight. Denny never mentioned anything about drugs prior to the confrontation Once again, that subplot was never brought up nor is it mentioned again. There are also multiple scenes where Johnny, Mark, and their friends just toss a football around for no apparent reason. There is no significance to the football nor does it have anything to do with the main plot or the subplots.During the last twenty minutes of the film, a character that has no name nor was he ever mentioned throughout the film begins to chastise Lisa for cheating on Johnny with Mark as if he was in the film the whole time.

A good screenplay is supposed to have flowing dialogue throughout the film; lines shouldn't be repeated over and over again nor should the characters talk about the same thing they discussed in the previous scene. Most of all, lines should have significance. Lisa is always talking about how she doesn't love Johnny anymore and always says “I don’t want to talk about it” after someone argues with her. Whenever Claudette is having a conversation with Lisa, she constantly advises Lisa to stay with Johnny for financial support despite the lack of romance. Every time Lisa seduces Mark, he always questions Lisa why he is seducing him despite his knowledge that she no longer loves Johnny. Although the dialogue between the minor characters and co-stars are redundant, the things that Johnny says during his interaction with the other characters are even more repetitive.

Johnny starts every conversation with “oh, hi (insert name here)” and ends almost every sentence with a strange laugh even when serious subjects are brought up. There is a scene where Johnny takes a trip to the flower shop to buy Lisa a dozen of red roses. After he asks the clerk for the bouquet of roses, the clerk responds with “Oh hi Johnny, I didn't know it was you.” How in the world can someone not know who he is if the clerk knows him on a first name basis? After he is notified of the price, he just nonchalantly says “Here you go, keep the change; hi doggy!” and pets the pug on the counter in the same breath. That line of dialogue was so incredibly pointless that it was humorous.

There is another scene where Johnny is on the rooftop after hearing a rumor that he abused Lisa. He just rants by saying “I did not hit her; it’s not true. It’s bullshit; I did not hit her! I did not—oh hi Mark” after he sees Mark sitting on the rooftop. After a few lines of dialogue, Johnny randomly exclaims “I am so happy to have you as my best friend, and I love Lisa so much.” The audience already knows how much he values his romantic relationship with Lisa and his friendship with Mark, so why does he have to announce it? Oh wait, that’s right; Tommy Wiseau couldn't have been sober when he wrote this disaster of a story.

The final element that makes this film incredibly horrible is that the acting is so bland and so unbelievable that an elementary school play can be more professional than this film. At the beginning of the film, Lisa tells Mark that she doesn't love Johnny in the most monotone and unenthusiastic way that a sane human being wouldn't buy her “act.” Even though the majority of the cast lacked acting experience, Tommy Wiseau’s acting was far worse than any other actor or actress who starred in this film.

Roughly twenty minutes into the film, Johnny arrives home with his bouquet of red roses for his “future wife.” When he announces that he didn't get his promotion, he is so lackadaisical about his rejected promotion that no one in the audience would believe that he is angry and “betrayed” by his bosses and co-workers.

When he confronts Lisa about her rumor that he abused her, he over exaggerates his frustration by yelling “you’re lying; I never hit you. YOU’RE TEARING ME APART, LISA” and later says calmly and quietly, “Don’t worry about it. I still love you.” How does one make a huge fuss about his future wife “tearing him apart” yet calmly and peacefully tells her that he still loves her anyway? At approximately fifty minutes into the film, Johnny overhears Lisa and her mother discussing her infidelity with an “unknown man.” He then says out loud “How can they say this about me? I don’t believe it. I show them. I will record everything.” A professional actor would be devastated to overhear that his future wife had an affair with another man; if anything he would confront her and have her confess her infidelity to him. Instead, Tommy Wiseau speaks so calmly and emotionless as if he thinks it’s a sick joke. No, his acting is a sick joke. The entire film is a sick joke.

Now that I have critiqued the film in its entirety, I must say that despite its failures and lack of professionalism, I never laughed at a movie to the point of tears throughout all of the years I've walked this earth. The Room is one of those movies that is so incredibly horrible that it’s truly entertaining.  A person just can’t help but laugh at the poor dialogue, the unprofessional acting, the excessive stock footage and those strange “one liners” that one of the characters say out of random. Even though Tommy Wiseau truly sounds like a drug addict and looks like a washed out rock star, he is a genius. I can’t think of any other director/producer/writer that can create something so horrible that it becomes a cult following. I have watched this movie with my friends numerous times, and I end up laughing every single time. If you have never seen this movie nor have ever heard of this movie, please check it out on YouTube or purchase it on for ten bucks. It may not be an Academy Award winning movie, but it can at least put a smile on your face when you have been “betrayed” or had a bad day.

1 comment:

  1. Now that I've finally seen the movie, I decided to give this blog post a re-read, and I completely agree that it falls into the "so bad it's good" category. I'm sorry you couldn't be there for my first viewing, but I hope to watch it with you soon. Now go keep your stupid comments in your pocket!*

    *For those who don't know, that "stupid comments" line is a quote from the movie. I would never refer to Dana's comments as stupid, because they're not.