Johnny: YOU ARE TEARING ME APART LISA!
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
This is by far one of the most if not the most, fascinating films in history. Nothing about it seems of this world. Not because the acting, dialogue, or characters are any good. If anything all of those elements are atrocious resulting in a hilariously, bizarrely made bad movie. And all of it done to a single writer, actor, executive producer, and director: Tommy Wiseau. This truly is the “Citizen Kane of Bad Movies.”
The story is that Johnny (Tommy Wiseau) is a successful banker living in San Francisco engaged to a beautiful girl named Lisa (Juliette Danielle). One day Lisa decides that she’s bored with her life with Johnny and starts an affair over the course of the film with Johnny’s best friend Mark (Greg Sestero) who tries to break off the affair but ultimately gives into Lisa’s advances.
On paper the story just sounds like a forgettable soap opera. However Tommy Wiseau’s “talents” in the writing, directing, and acting of this movie are what make the movie far from forgettable. There are numerous sub-plots about the movie such as Johnny’s college friend Denny (Phillip Haldiman) getting into a violent encounter with a drug dealer named Chris-R (Dan Janjigan), Denny lusting after Lisa himself, Lisa’s mother Claudette (Carolynn Minnott) having breast cancer, etc. All of the sub-plots in this movie receive little to no exposition, never resolve, and are never even mentioned following the scenes in which they take place. There are multiple characters including Peter (Kyle Vogt), Steven (Greg Ellery), Mike (Scott Holmes), and Michelle (Robyn Paris) who have scenes involving the main characters who are given no background and just come and go out of nowhere throughout the movie (funnily enough a couple of the lines spoken by Claudette reference this). There are multiple scenes where the characters are just throwing around a football (one of times when they’re all in tuxedos) without any reason to it. Johnny and Lisa’s relationship has nothing to it whatsoever and her affair with Mark has even less of a flow. The way the characters talk in no way bear resemblance to how humans would talk and it doesn’t even feel like the movie is trying to. Such examples include how unfazed Johnny is when Denny tells him that he is in love with Lisa, Claudette casually informing her daughter that she has breast cancer, Peter shrugging off the fact that Mark tried to kill him, and of course Johnny’s response to Mark’s story about a girl getting beat up so badly for her cheating to the point she ended up in a hospital. You can tell, all the actors in this movie knew the strangeness of the dialogue and they pretty much phone it in. Wiesau’s acting in particular is distinctly bad. Right off the bat his delivery is just downright bizarre and he follows through with this performance all throughout the movie. There are just so many wrong moves (no doubt more than the ones I listed here) with this movie to the point that’s it’s surreal.
The Room is a definitely bad movie but it is definitely worth checking out. It’s just one of those movies that needs to be seen to believed. Nothing about this movie makes sense and it is just horrendously amazing for it making it worthy of the cult following it has. And to the actors’ credit, all of them have embraced the badness this movie has and its following has resulted in several great things including a memoir of its making by Sestero, a movie adaptation of that book, and even a video game.