#22 The Room (2003)

Before the review I have to address the goings on in my life. As I mentioned I visited New Orleans last month, but literally hours before I was scheduled to take off I was relieved from my job. That’s right, I’ve joined the 7.6% of the unemployed work force. A terrible feeling has left me to deal with an uncomfortable amount of free time which I’ve mainly spent playing MLB 13 The Show and sending out resumes. Coupled with the 2012-2013 television season winding down and the start of the baseball season and NBA playoffs, I haven’t had much time to dedicate to watching (let alone writing about) movies. Perhaps I can get back on this to just create a rhythm for my week, something to occupy my time in a sort of productive way. Anyway, on to the good stuff and this one is a doozy.

The Room is a 2003 drama (later recategorized as a black comedy, but we’ll get to that) about a well-off man named Johnny and the relationship between his fiance Lisa and his best friend Mark. It’s made apparent that Johnny is a loving, nurturing successful man as he works a well paying job at some financial institution, has passionate sex with the love of his life, and is able to care for his friends and neighbors. However all goes awry when at work they decide to not promote him for the great work he does.

Lisa realizes that she’s no longer in love with Johnny and decides to pursue relations with Mark. While Mark is reluctant at first as they are best friends, the pair exclusively enacts on their newfound partnership in Johnny’s own home. While Johnny had grown suspicious when overhearing a conversation between Lisa and her mother Claudette, it completely boiled over at his surprise birthday party when best friends Johnny and Mark fight over Mark’s dancing so close with Lisa. After the party Johnny locks himself in the bathroom pissed off at Lisa and then decides to playback the conversation Lisa has with his best friend Mark as they planned to meet up later that night. After she storms off, Johnny realizing his life is in shambles wrecks his home and ends his life.

Quite a lot more than that happens over the course of the film, but it doesn’t matter much. This movie is flat out terrible. The dialogue is dreadful and that isn’t even considering that most of the lines were clearly dubbed over in post. The poor job done by whoever was in charge of chromakey for scenes on the rooftop. The excessive use of establishing shots of San Francisco when the film nearly entirely takes place in its titular location. While the main story is pretty straightforward there are many subplots (and characters for that matter) that are completely abandoned including the enigma that is Denny and his drug problems with Chris-R and Claudette’s breast cancer. Just embarrassing for those involved.

Hate it.

-Mikh

Wait. No. Hold on.

I’ve mistakenly forgot to mention that I went to a screening of The Room, in fact for the fourth time. Don’t get me wrong, this movie is absolutely terrible. Student films from NYU couldn’t be this bad even if they tried. The popular phrase “so bad it’s good” doesn’t come close to describing the experience of seeing this in the presence of people admiring its horridness. Tommy Wiseau, writer, executive producer, director, and star of the film proudly tours this movie around now that it has achieved its cult following however playing it off as it was his intent to feature it in this manner.

Attendees come with an arsenal of plastic spoons to be chucked toward the screen when they appear on screen inexplicably framed on a side table in the room where the majority of the film takes place. Some dress as their favorite characters as they run to the front of the theater to enact the scenes as they occur. When Denny breaks out the football, you better be ready to receive the pass coming from across the aisle in the near dark. Often through the showing many are quick to interject with their own quips as the events unfurl in front of them or cheer the cameraman on a great pan of the Golden Gate Bridge. The entire group waits to belt out the signature line “YOU ARE TEARING ME APART, LISA!”

If you’re so fortunate to have a theater that has monthly screenings, do yourself a favor and attend (though I highly recommend watching it on your own or with a friend at home to familiarize yourself with some scenes).

Like It.

-Mikhail

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