Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Room

For those of you not familiar with this movie, The Room is written, directed, produced, executive produced, and stars Tommy Wiseau who is either a genius, a crazed Eastern European, or an alien from another planet desperately trying to make it big in Hollywood. He plays Johnny, a successful banker who is engaged to Lisa. But Lisa is getting bored of Johnny so she strikes up an affair with his best friend Mark. That's the basic summary of the movie, but it doesn't even scratch the surface of what this film is about. The problem is I still don't fully understand what its about. The Room is that rare movie that cannot be rated. There is no way to evaluate it and do it justice. It fails on every conceivable level yet the entertainment value is through the roof. Depending how you look at it this film could be 1 star or 5 stars. I think the only way to describe what this movie is like is to turn it into a drinking game. So here is a list of games to play while watching The Room.

Take a shot everytime...

Johhny says, "Oh hi..." followed by somebody's name. This is probably the most repeated line in the whole movie. He says this to anybody who appears on screen. Including a dog.

Lisa switches personalities. You may want to divide this one into two parts unless you enjoy having a week long hangover, because she will bounce between hating Johnny and loving Johhny several times in any given scene. Either she's bipolar or Tommy Wiseau doesn't know how to write charcaters. I think the answer is fairly obvious.

Denny says or does something retarded. Denny is an orphaned youth who Johnny has taken under his wing. He was apparently raised by stray cats as he is yet to grasp the finer points of human interaction. In one early scene he straight up tries to flirt with Lisa while Johnny is standing right next to him. When Johnny and Lisa head up the stairs for one of the films many horrible sex scenes they forget to tell Denny to leave so he just follows them up and jumps into bed with them. I love Denny. He's my favourite character.

Mark says, “What are you doing,” to Lisa after it is blatantly obvious what she is doing. Without fail he says this everytime they have sex. His naivete knows no bounds. In one scene Lisa has talked dirty to him, felt him up, taken off his shirt, and is in the process of giving him a hickey before he asks this question. I know some men are pretty bad at picking up on signals from women, but seriously Mark even Denny would understand at this point.

There is a sex scene. As mentionned earlier there are quite a few sex scenes in this movie all equal parts awkward, horrible, and nauseating. The music doesn't help.

Shitty music starts to play. This will happen during every sex scene. I cannot begin to describe how terrible these songs are. Combined with the shock of seeing a naked Tommy Wiseau hump a girl's bellybutton this is the closest any movie has come to audio-visual rape. The music chocie throughout the rest of the movie is also pretty bad and very rarely does it ever match up with what's actually going on.

Claudette (Lisa's mother) tells Lisa to stick with Johnny for financial security. This is pretty much her only function in the film. A typical scene will have her walk into Johnny's apartment, talk to Lisa for 30 seconds as to why she should stay with Johnny, and then leave. This happens about 5 times in the film and its always the same. Tommy Wiseau is evidently a master of the copy/paste technique that all great writers ought to know.

There is a pointless shot of a famous scene in San Francisco. This is another one that you might want to divide up, because Tommy Wiseau recyles the same stock footage over and over again. I cannot count how many times you'll see the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, a trolley or any other landmark in this film. They don't seem to serve any purpose other than to establish that this movie does indeed take place in San Francisco. You know. In case you forgot.

Footage is reused. Putting aside the use of stock footage mentionned above there are two sex scenes between Johnny and Lisa and both of them are almost exactly the same. Same shots, same positions, same foreplay, same eveything except music. It wasn't any better the second time.

There is a scene involving characters that does not appear to serve any purpose whatsoever. This category probably comprises a good third of the film. There are two scenes of Johnny and Mark running that occur for no reason. Sometimes characters will play catch just becasue they can. One memorable scene has two never before seen characters walk into the apparment, have sex, get caught, and then leave with no apparent explanation as to why this all happened. Its all just for shits and giggles I guess.

They play catch with a football. This one was mentionned above, but I think it is deserving of more elaboration. For no good reason at all characters will just decide to pass a football around while standing approxamitely three feet apart. For some reason about half of these scenes ends with somebody being injured. At one point they're doing this while wearing tuxedos. Fuck if I know why.

A plot device or character is inexplicably dropped. This one is harder to pick up on unless you've already seen the movie. Examples of when this occurs include Claudette's breast cancer, Denny's drug problem, Mike's underwear, and Peter the psychologist who disappears becasue the actor portraying him quit the film. I wonder why.

A character inexplicably appears. Sometimes a character will just pop into a scene for no good reason at all. When Denny encounters the drug dealer on the roof Claudette and Lisa show up even though it was established in the previous scene that they had left the building. When the actor who plays Peter left the film he is replaced by a new guy who is never referred to by name and who was never seen earlier. He just shows up and starts talking all of sudden as if he's been in the movie the whole time.

A character laughs at an inappropriate moment. This happens most frequently with Johhny. The man has a very strange sense of humour. For instance, he finds stories of domestic abuse hilarious. Lisa and Mark's affair is also a source of humour for a few characters. Its almost as if these characters are unrealistic.

A characters cries. As you can imagine a melodrama such as The Room has lots of emotion and some characters just can't keep it all inside. And so they release in the most over the top way possible. My favourite is when Johnny goes Hulk at the end and destroys half his house while crying, "Arrrrrrrgggghhhh."

An actor displays talent. You'll almost never have to drink for this one. The only actor who even approaches something resembling acting is the guy who plays Peter and he leaves halfway through.

Tommy Wiseau’s face appears devoid of any emotion. Yah this is pretty much all the time he's on screen. Good luck.

Tommy Wiseau’s voice changes suddenly due to overdubbing. This is especially apparent if you watch the interview that comes on the DVD. Despite his thick accent and lack of emotion Tommy Wiseau appears convinced that he can act, and having to spend hours overdubbing his own voice because of said thick accent and lack of emotion is no deterrent.

You see a picture of spoons. For some reason Johnny's apartment has a bit of a spoon motif going on. This is famously poked fun at during screenings of his film in LA and other cities when the audince throw spoons at the screen whenever a picture of spoons appear.


Someone in the audience says, “Oh my God!”

Someone in the audience says “What the fuck?”

Someone in the audience says “I like this movie.” If anyone says this without sarcasm then they have to take a shot. With a gun. To the face.

The movie fits the description of a "black comedy." After his film opened to universal mockery Tommy Wiseau attempted to rebrand his film in this way. But upon watching the film I have found no evidence to support this description. If you can find anything to support his claim please contact me.

This movie makes sense. I don't mean this in the sense of "what is going on," but more "why is it going on?" I am yet to find an answer to this question. I found no answers in the film and when I read the synopsis on the back of DVD case it just confused me even more:

"The Room" is an electrifying American black comedy about love, passion, betrayal, and lies. It's what happens in real life. You could be with your loving woman and all of sudden BOOM! She's in bed with your best friend or family member. "The Room" depicts the depths of friendships and relationships in one's life and realizes life's real and most asked question: "Can you ever really trust anyone?" ...Are you ready to see reflections of your life?

What the hell? I don't know what to make of it all. I said at the beginning that it was impossible to rate this movie. Well I am just gonna go ahead and give it 7 spoons out of 4 footballs because that's about as much sense as I am going to get out of any of this.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Alright Mannu and others, here is my movie review blog as requested. I'll probably also review books, video games, or whatever else strikes my fancy. My first review will be The Room as promised and I'll probably post that tomorrow. Yah. That's about it.