The Guardian writes about The Room in G2 and online – leave your comments!

Guardian critic Steve Rose wrote a great piece about The Room a few days ago –  we are encouraging everyone to leave your comments on his blog! You can check out the article on the Guardian site here.

Is this the worst movie ever made?

The Room is so unfeasibly bad, it has become a cult hit

A scene from The Room.

“The Citizen Kane of bad movies” (Entertainment Weekly); “a bad – shockingly bad – romantic tragedy” (Time Out New York); “prompts most of its viewers to ask for their money back – before even 30 minutes have passed” (Variety). Most film-makers have nightmares about reviews like these, but they’ve worked wonders for The Room, a movie whose transcendent awfulness has made it a cult phenomenon and an audience-participation fixture along the lines of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

It’s difficult to make any sort of movie, good or bad, but to make a movie that’s so bad it’s good you need vision, drive, luck and obsessive vanity. Fortuitously, The Room’s writer/producer/director/star Tommy Wiseau appears to possess all of these qualities, combined with a total lack of acting talent.

A mix of Tennessee Williams, Ed Wood and R Kelly’s Trapped In the Closet, The Room is a simple story of a guy whose fiancee is cheating on him with his best friend, but devastating plot points such as cancer, drugs and pregnancy are thrown in – then completely forgotten about. Characters disappear halfway through the film, the softcore sex scenes are excruciating, and the San Franscisco setting (it was actually shot in Los Angeles) is alluded to by amateurish back projection and repeated shots of the Golden Gate Bridge.

And elevating the whole affair to high-trash status is Wiseau himself, with his slurry Schwarzeneggerian accent and resemblance to a gym-pumped Christopher Walken in a wig. “It’s like your favourite nightmare,” says comedy writer and Room convert Robert Popper. “It’s horrible to watch the whole time. You know how if you watch The Godfather, every scene is a masterpiece? It’s the same with The Room: every scene is perfectly bad.”

The Room first gained notoriety in Los Angeles, partly thanks to abillboard advertising it that stood over Sunset Boulevard for five years. The film’s unique ineptitude began to attract rowdy repeat viewers, who would shout abuse (“Focus!”), lip-sync the worst lines (“You are tearing me apart, Lisa!”) and hurl plastic spoons (the movie features a lot of spoons). Celebrity fans such as Twilight’s Kristen Stewart and Superbad’s Jonah Hill also helped spread the word.

Having held the UK premiere of The Room last Saturday, London’s Prince Charles Cinema is starting monthly midnight screenings, and it is also playing at the Barbican’s Bad Film night (23 September), with contributions from Popper and fellow comedy writers Peter Serafinowicz and Graham Linehan. Wiseau himself often turns up to screenings, and now claims The Room was intended as “a black comedy”. He’s thinking of turning it into a Broadway musical.

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4 responses to “The Guardian writes about The Room in G2 and online – leave your comments!

  1. Oh Hi guardian readers, if Wiseau ever makes The Room into a musical and it hits london’s west end, i will move hell or high water to be there….dressed in my Lisa costume and probably dragging my brother (undoubtedly dressed as Wiseau).

    The Room is a wonderful experience. if your readers visit one of the showings, I urge them to take their own spoons and some throat lozenges for afterwards because if they get as “in the zone” as I did during the sept 5th showing, they’ll need them to sooth the sore throats.

    thanks.

  2. The Room is, simply put, amazing. Probably my favourite cinema experience for a long time and was the first time I had left the cinema with a sore throat.

    I started out not wanting to shout out or draw attention to myself, but after 5 or 10 minutes, my inhabitions had completely gone and I was yelling like a pro. We even managed to stump up an improptu humming of the Rocky theme when Johnny and Mark were running with gusto up the stairs. Amazing night out.

  3. Watching this film inspired me to teach an entire college course about cult film/trash cinema. My students adored THE ROOM — you can read about their reactions on my blog here: http://judgmentalobserver.wordpress.com/2009/09/03/teaching-the-room/ . And they will be hosting their own screening of the film next month.

  4. She is supported by data about the experience of people afflicted with lesions on the amygdale, that part of the brain central to our emotions. ,

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