Tommy Wiseau stars as successful banker Johnny, whose girlfriend Lisa (Juliette Danielle) is cheating on him with his best friend Mark (Greg Sestero, who wrote a book on his ‘experiences’ making this film). Mark feels guilty about doing this to his well-meaning friend Johnny, but Lisa is positively ruthless in her pursuit of him. How long, though, until Johnny finds out? Useless subplots (some never resolved) abound, including that of young Denny (Philip Haldiman), a street kid taken under Johnny’s wing, who gets involved in drug dealing, in between making awkward sexual advances on Lisa (which Johnny, amazingly doesn’t take too poorly) and claiming to like watching them having sex (which Johnny also amazingly, doesn’t take too poorly!).
Said to be this generation’s “Plan 9 From Outer Space” (there’s even been midnight screenings, ala “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”), this 2003 bad movie favourite is frankly far too tedious and unfunny to earn such a distinction. Clearly today’s generation don’t understand what a ‘good’ bad movie really is. This sure is a stinker, and ‘filmmaker’ Tommy Wiseau does appear to have Edward D. Wood’s hopeless delusions of grandeur, but it’s just not much fun to take the piss out of this film.
The problem is that it’s a romantic drama, and a bad romantic drama is just plain enervating to watch. Still, I appear to be in the minority on this one, a lot of people think this thing is hilariously awful. It’s certainly awful; Horribly out-of-sync post-production looping by Wiseau himself (he has a thick, possibly Polish accent, by the way), dreadful dialogue scenes that seem to contradict themselves by the end of the scene, and the worst choreographed sex scenes since 1978’s Aussie softcore flick “Felicity” and just a few of this film’s ‘special’ qualities. At times it seems like characters are having two totally different conversations. One minute, Wiseau is asking his psychologist friend for advice, the next second he’s berating him for playing the shrink! Horrendously incoherent. The sex is particularly painful to endure (for the audience, I mean. Sickos you are!), especially since there’s so much of it in the first half. Coupled with the terrible dialogue and shocking acting, you’d swear it was a porno if not for the fact that the sex is decidedly softcore. When you add Wiseau’s repellent, sleazy anti-charisma and pasty yet sinewy, shredded physique it makes for seriously uncomfortable viewing. I’m talking Sly Stallone in “The Specialist” levels of eye-sore here, and Wiseau (whose face looks like it’s melting off his skull!) is one of the most incompetent actors I’ve ever seen, in addition to being one of the creepiest. I’m sorry, but the guy is skin-crawling, matched only by the super-creepy Denny (or was it Danny? Donny? Dunny? Duddy? No one in the film seems to agree!), a bizarro character of oddly vague age played by Philip Haldiman. This kid’s just plain straaaaaange, like the creepy love child of Joshua Miller from “Near Dark” and pervy Bud Bundy from “Married…With Children”. This pervy, drug-buying street kid seemingly put into the film to make Wiseau’s character seem somewhat likeable, is awkward and pathetic. A total miscalculation of character and performance.
Why the fuck is this called “The Room”? Why the fuck is the apartment rooftop green-screened? I don’t know, and I somehow get the impression Wiseau (whose personal quotes on his IMDb page are funnier than anything in this film) hasn’t got a clue, either. I’m glad I’ve seen this terrible film at least once in my life so that I can now be a part of the conversation, but unlike Ed Wood’s oeuvre, I don’t think this one has much re-watch value as a bad movie classic. I got some laughs out of it, but overall it’s a bit of a bore. I can’t for the life of me believe it actually got released. It seemingly was a bit of a struggle, as apparently Wiseau originally envisioned it as a play (never staged), then wrote it as a 500-page book (never published), and ultimately a film, where he was able to finally see it released. Seeing the film you have to assume Wiseau’s bank account must’ve been pretty sizeable at the time (apparently he sold a lot of Korean leather jackets to help finance the film. Yep.) or perhaps he has a surprisingly large amount of loyal friends and family, because this really is a piece of shit.
One of the worst films of all-time? Maybe, if it’s a long list. Either way, it’s certainly an awful film. The funniest thing? After getting a critical pasting, Wiseau now claims that the film is an intentional ‘black comedy’. Give it up, Tommy. Just give it up. You’re not fooling anyone. Actually, that’s not the funniest thing. The funniest thing is the strange but true fact that writer-director-star Wiseau hired a giant billboard to promote the film…and left the billboard up for 5 years, at $5,000 a month! Yeah…I’m gonna leave you with that one for you to ponder. Oh, and leave your stupid comments in your pocket!