Friday, July 11, 2014

The Room (2003)

How bad is it? It is incredibly bad.
Should you see it? Yes.

"The Room" is bound to become the touchstone for a new generation of fans of bad film. Tommy Wiseau wrote, produced, directed and starred... and he's awful at all of those jobs. Unlike most films on this blog, there are no monsters or bad special effects; this is just terrible actors spouting terrible dialogue in limited locales (including a rooftop, which appears to be used to show you they're in San Francisco, as are jump-cut inserts of random local scenery). The plot: Lisa gets bored of her husband Johnny (Wiseau) and seduces his friend Mark... and then, well, nothing but talk, really. There are characters who show up in the middle of scenes, deliver a line and then disappear. There are plot points that get ignored; for example, Lisa's mother announces she has cancer and, not only doesn't anyone react, it never gets mentioned again.

In one scene, Johnny buys roses from a girl who doesn't recognize him - unbelievably creepy weirdos with German-Polish accents are common - and then tells him he's her favorite customer. In another, guys toss a football (even that's done poorly), apparently for visual interest and to show that they interact.

It's the dialogue, though, that's spectacularly awful. "Oh hi" and "Oh, hey" will make you laugh the tenth time it shows up in the middle of a conversation, as will Wiseau's frequent inexplicable chuckle and the phrase "Don't worry about it." A good drinking game could be made with the number of times Lisa says she doesn't love Johnny or likes Mark (a total of more than 20). Typical dialogue:

"As far as I'm concerned, you can drop off the earth. That's a promise."

"Did you get the promotion?"
"You didn't get it, did you?"

  "How was work today"
  "Oh, pretty good. We got a new client and the bank will make a lot of money"
 "What client"
  "I cannot tell you; it's confidential"
  "Aw, come on. Why not?"
  "No, I can't. Anyway, how is your sex life?"

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