Pop Culture Homework Assignment #2: The Room

Normally, my intent is to seek out entertainment I think I'll like. Something that's been well-reviewed or is massively popular with critics I tend to agree with or has gotten good word-of-mouth from my friends.

Not always, though. In this case, I went hunting for something I knew in advance was going to be crap. It started with podcasts: They'd play weird sound drops that were funny, but didn't seem to make any sense. They'd reference not being so confused about something since The Room. Articles popped up about people attending screenings to yell at the screen, a la Rocky Horror Picture Show. Books are being written about it. One day, I heard a How Did This Get Made? episode that attempted to explain the whole phenomenon. But no amount of description could do the job. Clearly, the consensus that The Room is one of the worst movies of the modern era had solidified, and I had missed the memo.

So, I rented it. I fear I'll fall even shorter at attempting to describe what can loosely be defined as a "plot". Suffice it to say that director Tommy Wiseau stars as good-guy Johnny, whose fiancee Lisa becomes bored with him, and seduces his best friend. Johnny finds out, Lisa dumps him, and Johnny kills himself. The end. All of this is padded out by about seventy-six tertiary and quaternary characters introducing subplots that appear out of nowhere, are discussed for thirty seconds, and disappear, unresolved. Por ejemplo:

That's it. The house? Never mentioned again. The brother? Never mentioned again. The BREAST CANCER? Never mentioned again. And that was forty seconds of film. Imagine things like that popping up all over the place for an hour and a half. I suppose those unresolved plotlines are broken up by the five interminable sex scenes, which go on and on and on and on and on and on forever, to increasingly horrible music.

This movie seems like visitors from Mars came down, were given a brief summation of how movies work, and gave it their best shot. No, you know what? Strike that. This movie is like visitors from Mars came down and were given a brief summation of how humans interact, and gave it their best shot:

It's a gloriously terrible film. It's nice to finally be in on the joke, of course, but I'm mostly glad I was able to revel in a movie that will give others a run for their money in Best of the Worst.

The Room (as a movie): F
The Room (as an experience): B+


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