Sonic Cinema

Sounds, Visions and Insights by Brian Skutle

The Room

Grade : F Year : 2003 Director : Tommy Wiseau Running Time : 1hr 39min Genre : ,
Movie review score

At last, I am watching the iconic cult “classic.” Writer-director-producer-star Tommy Wiseau is the 21st Century Ed Wood with this appallingly bad melodrama about a love triangle and several supporting characters around the three people in said triangle. No, this is not a black comedy, as Wiseau has been trying to convince people.

Wiseau, with the most ridiculously odd accent in film history, stars as Johnny, a San Francisco man in love with his fiance Lisa (Juliette Danielle) whom he shares an apartment with. They have a friend who lives in the same complex named Denny (Phillip Haldiman) that Johnny helped out once (doing what, I have no idea). Johnny and Lisa are seen making love, but who Lisa really loves is Johnny’s best friend Mark (Greg Sestero). When she can’t come up with a better way to dump him, she begins to create accusations of domestic abuse against Johnny.

I’m honestly kind of speechless about this movie. Wiseau managed to pull together $6 million to make this film, and then self-distribute the film; how he managed to accomplish either is mind-blowing. I mean, I know I’m not the best filmmaker but I’d like to think I know something about tone and performance (at least, NOW I do), but this film is ridiculous. The performances, so laughable in their idiocy; the script, so lame in its tone and nonsensical storytelling; the love scenes, so…shiver-inducing. I hate to say it, but if this movie were a genuine porn film it might be good, but this film is trying to play it straight. I bet the Razzies are really kicking themselves for missing out on this the first time around.

There’s not a lot I can say about this beyond the above: did anyone really believe in this film as they were making it? The dramatic tension in this film is so incomprehensible that a viewer that imagine someone thinking this was a good movie. And does Wiseau honestly believe he’s fooling anyone by claiming he was going for a black comedy? That makes the sexism in the characterization of Lisa even more offensive, and the shocking– the SHOCKING –climax of “The Room” even more insulting to audience intelligence. As Johnny says so iconically, “Ya’re tearing me apart, Tommy!!”

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