By Craig Singleton (Wigan, England)
Every once in a while you stumble across a film that is completely terrible. It has an awful story and is technically bad. This independent film came out in 2003, the year of the big blockbuster sequels that disappointed many such as Terminator: Rise of the Machines, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Bad Boys 2 and The Matrix Reloaded plus Revolutions and was created by unknown filmmaker Tommy Wiseau. Wiseau directed, wrote and produced this romantic drama that was adapted from a novel by you guessed it, Tommy Wiseau. I’m surprised he didn’t also try to edit this film either.
The story sees main character Johnny played by, oh my God it’s Tommy Wiseau! He certainly was a busy fellow. He’s a banker who’s promised a promotion but doesn’t get it so he goes home to his girlfriend Lisa played Juliette Danielle. She knows he’s upset so she orders a pizza which makes him happy, and then they have sex. Shot in a soft-porn manner, the love-making scene is distasteful, awkward for the viewer and is accompanied by terrible music. “You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!”
Giving no indication that she’s bored in life with Johnny, Lisa seduces his best friend Mark played by Greg Sestero. He didn’t want to sleep with her at first, but soon changed his mind. “Oh, hi Mark”. So the plot is basically Lisa sleeping with two men, not feeling any guilt and not caring for either of them.
The title Wiseau created is to show that many moments in life occur within four walls, showing that certain situations can be uncomfortable and have a lack of space. You can’t exactly play football inside a living room so we’ll go outside and play there even though we are wearing tuxedos.
One hundred percent of this story makes no sense and has no moral. Tommy Wiseau is a person who should never act. “What do you mean?” Wiseau resembles Mickey Rouke’s face of today in the sense that he’s had a lot of cosmetic work done to it, but zero the talent. Every actor within this small story are terrible because they have no conviction in their lines and no presence on screen. The dialogue is weird and would never occur in any real life situation. The scenes play out so awkwardly in the sense that the characters are just randomly placed in a lot of scenes just to have another character in it. They serve no purpose and say a lot of weird things.
This is the kind of film must make screenwriters very happy as they know that whatever they write couldn’t be anywhere near as bad as this. It puts itself into the ‘so bad, it’s good’ category from the opening scene. There is no build-up, no climax, no resolve or point in nearly all of the film. In one scene, Mark tells Johnny a story about a woman who was beaten by her boyfriend. Instead of feeling empathy, Johnny laughs. He is one of the strangest characters I’ve ever watched. He unfortunately cannot act in any way of a person in the real world, however I believe that’s just because Wiseau himself cannot act in this way also.
One of the most peculiar aspects of the film aside from the story and everything else is that it had a budget of $6 million. I have no idea what that money was spent on, but it wasn’t on the film itself. Look at British films like Nowhere Boy made for around £1.3 million and Ill Manors made for a staggering £100,000 that have complete professional qualities and could afford top actors to feature in them. It doesn’t necessarily take millions to make a film so how does this appear to have very little production given that it had six million?
The film became a no hit when distributed for a very limited release, however it is a cult favorite in the same way that Troll 2 is in that people know the films are terrible, but enjoy the certain qualities they have. The Room is very quotable and is very funny from Wiseau’s dialogue being dubbed in post-production to the baffling direction in which the story unfolds. “What a story, Mark”.
My score for the film is 31%. Lowest mark for acting, highest for entertainment. It feels very much a comedy to me as the romantic drama couldn’t be taken seriously. Wiseau’s baby is a memorable one, but for all the wrong reasons. Hilarious for people who watch whilst drunk, but a nightmare watch for movie critics. “I hate my life!”