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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More On the Room

Okay, so if you read my actual review of the Room, you would know that it is not a good movie. In fact, it is one of the worst films ever made. However, it stands apart from other bad movies because it is actually the most unintentionally funny film I’ve seen in a long time. When I watched Birdemic, I had a similar reaction. The world of the So Bad They’re Good movies is a small place, populated by a few rare gems that are memorable and are elevated by fans of cult cinema.
The Room is a fantastic piece of garbage. It is so horrible that it actually holds a place of honor. It is my generation’s Plan 9 From Outer Space. It is dreadful, and it is also fantastic. Some of the more in depth online reviews of the Room approach the film with dread and disgust, but I embrace its idiocy. So what makes the Room stand apart from other bad movies?

While films like The Ugly Truth actually THINK they’re funny, the Room ACTUALLY brings laughs from its audience precisely because it was intended to be a deep examination of the fall of a good man. There have been a lot of stories of characters that fall victim to obsession that slowly eats away at them, the Room is a different take on that genre. It’s shot with the finesse of a Lifetime Original Movie without any of the heavy-handed crap that comes along with it. Instead, the Room is a perfectly stripped down nugget of insanity, It is like a Macy Gray song, it sounds awful, it’s off-beat and off key and it doesn’t resemble anything we would consider normal.

Actor, director, writer Tommy Wiseau (who plays the lead character Johnny) is the key reason this is such a mess. It’s obviously a personal study of this character that could be considered close to the creator’s heart. I’ll let you draw from that what you will, but it’s hard to take him seriously. For starters, he looks like a mummy who plays drums for a Ramones cover band. One who has had a long history of recurring eczema of the face. Now I know that’s not fair, but I don’t care. He opened himself up for this. Compared to the rest of the characters he looks like he just walked off the set of Men In Black and left his makeup on.

Julliette Danielle isn’t unattractive, but she hardly fit’s the role of a character who’s meant to be nude in half her scenes. The manic, confusing, overlong “love scenes” are where she shows her “assets”. It’s truly amazing but Wiseau has figured out how to make sex not-sexy. These scenes reach an Escheresque level of confusion as you try to figure out where partner one ends and partner two begins. They are so badly done that they are actually comical. In a couple of the scenes Danielle’s belly fat adds extra curvature where more is not entirely welcome. Maybe she should consider narcotics, they seem to be the weight-loss method of choice for every other blonde in Hollywood.

The other minor characters are all useless, providing nothing that furthers the plot in anyway and are mainly just used as padding to stretch the thin story out to a full-length film. Denny looks like a defective who dipped his face in wax before each take. He looks almost devious most of the time. The drug-dealer who we see for all of thirty seconds looks less like a pusher and more like a UCLA art student. Then there’s Lisa’s mother. She has the depth of a character in a medicinal ad targeted at septuagenarian diabetes patients and she doesn’t seem all that concerned by the fact that she has breast cancer.

The best friend, Mark, is another two dimensional and badly written character. He looks like he fell off of a Calvin Klein ad onto the set of the movie and doesn’t resemble a movie star so much as a reality show contestant. He looks like the embodiment of every stereotype describing the average Starbucks customer. Throw in the fact that he acts like he’s waiting on an important phone call, always distracted and constantly pulling off screen, and you have a perfect storm of fail.

So with all these characters (I didn’t mention the psychologist buddy or Lisa’s sister), it’s essential that they do stuff. They do, don’t worry. They play football. They play lots of football, and they play it in the way a seven year old that doesn’t understand the rules of the game would play. They giggle and cheer as they randomly pass the ball around in a circle, bouncing and clapping like the Price is Right fan-girls. All the while never accomplishing anything. These scenes are entirely pointless. I got a laugh however at the scene where they all dress up in tuxedos to throw the football around then take them off in the next scene.

I’m pretty much done here. I loved making fun of this film while watching it, and all fans of bad cinema who haven’t seen this one yet should see it ASAP. It is the single most entertaining film I’ve seen in years. No campy B-Grade sci-fi or horror flick I’ve seen compares to the pure joy I got while watching this. Just note that mocking this film brings with it a certain meanness. It stabs at your soul and you will want to dissect it and destroy it in turn. The worst films ever made do not compare to the pure madness of oddity of the Room. It is the strangest display that I’ve seen that tries to pass itself off as normal.

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