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The Room

USA 2013
produced by
Tommy Wiseau, Drew Caffrey (executive), Chloe Lietzke (executive) for Wiseau-Films
directed by Tommy Wiseau
starring Tommy Wiseau, Juliette Danielle, Greg Sestero, Philip Haldiman, Carolyn Minnott, Robyn Paris, Mike Holmes, Dan Janjigian, Kyle Vogt, Greg Ellery, Piper Gore, Kari McDermott, Jennifer Vanderbliek, Bennett Dunn, Padma Moyer, Daron Jennings, Thomas E. Webster, Nora DeMarcky, Arelle Mitkowski, Frank Willey
written by Tommy Wiseau, music by Mladen Milicevic

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Available on DVD !

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Johnny (Tommy Wiseau) is pretty much God's gift to humankind, he's a successful banker, an all around caring human being who has made it his mission to get street kid Denny (Philip Haldiman) through college and act as a father figure to him, and he pretty much worships the ground his fiancée Lisa (Juliette Danielle) walks on, bringing her flowers or presents every day. And that's where the problems start, as Lisa feels suffocated in their relationship, and she wants to blow off the wedding that has long been planned - much to the dismay of her mother Claudette (Carolyn Minnott), a woman so strong that she mentions the fact she has breast cancer only in a passing comment, but who wants stability for her daughter, stability only Johnny can grant her. Lisa however is in love with Johnny's best friend Mark (Greg Sestero), who's a good guy in general who's just too weak to ward off her advances, and the two start to have sex behind Johnny's back. Lisa tries more and more to drag her mother to her side, even going so far to claim that Johnny has hit her, which is not true, but Claudette is firm in her resolve: Lisa is to marry Johnny, come what may. At Johnny's birthday party, things come to a head as Lisa, who has long grown tired of the pretense, flirts with Mark rather openly, which leads to a fight between Johnny and Mark, which in turn leads to Lisa leaving Johnny for Mark - and Johnny, on the end of his line, blows his brains out!

 

I know this is a statement that might cause controversy, but Tommy Wiseau is a genius. That's not to say The Room is a good movie, because it clearly isn't, it's a competently crafted drama that suffers from indifferent aesthetics reminiscent of 1980s and 90s TV tearjerkers, from a very indifferent cast (with the express exception of Carolyn Minnott, who gives her role a personal note and some charisma), but most of all from a script that's going here one minute, there the next, and nowhere overall, and that has just too many scenes to make one scratch one's head (like why do these guys dress up in tuxedos [!] just to play football?) to make perfect sense. But that said, The Room is hardly a so-bad-it's-good surreal disaster like Ed Wood's classic Glen or Glenda and Plan 9 from Outer Space [Ed Wood bio - click here]. Basically, yes, it's a bad movie, but no worse (though maybe a bit more nonsensical) than many other under-accomplishing low budget flicks from various genres from that era. And yet, Tommy Wiseau has built a reputation, a notoriety on this one that far extends the typical genre audience of his film, which has also become the source material of numerous memes and gifs. And while Wiseau might not have been played by Johnny Depp in a Tim Burton film like Ed Wood was, being portrayed by James Franco in the Franco directed The Disaster Artist is really just one notch below. And now try to dispute my claim that Tommy Wiseau is a genius.

 

As for the film itself, yes it's bad, sometimes cringeworthy so, but more often than not its weirdness is exhilerating rather than embarrassing, and you might get more pleasure out of this than you might expect - even if for reasons probably not intended by the filmmaker.

 

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review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Tales to Chill
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Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
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you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
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written by
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starring
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out now on DVD