Well, I thought that I've been reviewing so many things I love and praise as good it's time for me to take a quick walk down some of the doggier streets of the entertainment city, keeping my hand closely around my bag and my eyes to the ground. And I decided to start this walk with a movie that is unquestionably, undeniably bad, but also just so enjoyable!
Released in 2003 and proclaimed by the director/producer/writer/actor Tommy Wiseau to be 'the next street car named desire', The Room has reached a level of notoriety as a cult classic to rival that of something like the Evil Dead series. People go and see it with props and catch phrases ready just as they do for Rocky Horror Picture Show. But what is it that makes it so bad, why is this movie so monumentally made of fail and yet enjoyable. Let us take it in three parts, the writing, the cinematography and finally the acting.
The writing needs to be taken in 2 parts, the story and the dialogue. The story can be summarised as girl cheats on boy with his best friend. By no means a revolutionary concept, but it is in the finner more unique details that makes the story really stand out, important contemporary issues that carry important weight such as breast cancer, gang violence and drugs are picked up and then dropped faster than this script would have been by any studio in their right mind. A perfect example of this would be the main girl, Lisa's, mother. One of their incredibly brief conversations goes as such.
Mother: Everything always goes wrong at once, no-one wants to help me, and I'm dying.
Lisa: Your not dying mum.
Mother: I got the results of the test, I definitely have breast cancer.
Lisa: Don't worry mum every things going to be fine, they're curing lots of people every day.
And that's it. It is never mentioned again. But back to the plot, or what we are meant to assume is the plot. It starts with Johhny (Tommy Wiseau) and Lisa (Juliette Danielle) being a happy and prosperous couple. Well at least Johhny is prosperous at his job at the bank doing... something unspecified as compared to Lisa's job which apparently makes far less and in very competitive and has something to do with computers. Then, for no reason Lisa announces that she is unhappy and after her mother tries to draw in her 'rebelious attitud' which just causes her to run into the confused arms of Mark. And I mean confused, no matter how many times they have sex he always seems completely dumbfounded by what is happening. Character development takes a back seat too... well I'm not really sure what it is that Tommy Wiseau has replaced it with. He certainly writes in opportunity for character development, there is an incident where Mark is confronted by another friend about his affair with Lisa and then goes off and shaves his beard. I had originally thought that this was meant to represent him getting his life in order and he was going to start being a good friend but then he just sleeps with Lisa and goes back to being a bit of a confused dick. So, there is no character development at all.
Does the writing improve with the dialogue, short answer no, long answer... noooooooooo. Well, to be fair the dialogue is only bad, not as horrible as the characters or plot. The only reason some lines are so memorable is in their delivery, this brings us right into the acting. It is spectacularly strange to watch, like seeing a children's play but you don't have the excuse of politeness to stop yourself from laughing. The worst of the worst is our star, Tommy Wiseau, who you could spend the entire movie attempting to guess just what accent he has. Hi acting is bland to periods where he tries to emote and just painfully inflicts on the wrong words. But we can thank him for the Internet meme of...
'YOUR TEARING ME PART LISA'
That isn't to say that the other actors are much better. Juliette Danielle's main acting talent seems to lie in her ability to pout, and pout, and pout... and... pout. She is also able to make every one of the sex scenes she is in awkward as she struggles to remove clothing in fluid movements. The other special actor to mention is Phillip Haldiman as Denny. This character... confuses most, and understandably so. He is said to be the 'ward' of Johnny, as Johnny wanted to adopt him and is now paying for his apartment in the same building. Ummm... and the first scene we have with Denny is him wanting to go up to the bed room with the 2 main characters and then follows them up saying 'I just like to watch you guys'. I believe the actor was going for charmingly innocent, but he just comes across as perverted and creepy.
The cinematography of this is, special. Most of the shots are well done if a little boring and pretty standard. Its the endless shots of San Fransisco that causes with stock music over it that gets painful, especially if you set a drinking game to it. The editing is often confusing and I am positive they got the order of certain shots wrong at one point.
All these things considered, you really do need to see this. Three weeks after it came out and was canned as a drama and praised as an accidental comedy Tommy Wiseauamusing but just comes of as tired. This is really Tommy Wiseau's magnus opum.
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