Mar 2010 12

Most movies are bad.  There.  I’ve said it.  There are so many movable parts, so many variables to the movie making process that, in all honesty, it’s amazing good movies ever get made at all.  Beyond the obvious things like acting and writing there are so many other things that can go horribly wrong.  Woody Allen, after a disastrous test screening, had his directorial debut of the now classic comedy Take the Money and Run saved by the editing of Ralph Rosenblum and new score courtesy of Marvin Hamlisch.  For all of the complaints about test-screenings, they’ve probably saved (or at least improved) more movies than they ever hurt.  While making a great (or even good) movie is hard, making a truly horrible movie is just as difficult.  Make no mistake; making a bad movie isn’t hard.  It happens all the time.  I’m talking about a truly, legendary, “so bad it’s good” movie.  I’m talking Plan 9 from Outer Space bad.  Manos the Hands of Fate bad.  Santa Claus Conquers the Martians bad.  While there are countless films that could be considered “great,” films that achieve the status ‘enjoyably atrocious’ are few and far between.  It takes just the right amount of bad acting and bad writing combined with a heaping helping of hubris and a complete lack of self-awareness on the part of the “auteur.”  It is, with those criteria in mind, that I submit to you…The Room.  [morelink

Written, directed, starring, produced and even *gulp* executive produced by Tommy Wiseau The Room is a once-in-a-lifetime treat for the connoisseur of crap.  The film was originally released (more like “unleashed”) in 2003.  Since that time it’s slowly built a cult following.  In fact, some of Hollywood’s biggest stars (Alec Baldwin, Paul Rudd, Seth Rogen) are fans of the film.  A movie like this requires a “perfect storm” of no-talent.  It can’t be made on purpose.  Over the years people have tried to deliberately make bad movies.  But they can’t work on this level.  They’re more campy than bad; constantly winking at the camera.

The Room follows Johnny (Wiseau) and his fiancée Lisa (Juliette Danielle) as they prepare to be married in four weeks.  In fact, no matter how much time appears to pass during the film, they are always to be married in “four weeks.”  However, unbeknownst to Johnny, his best friend Mark (Greg Sestero) is having an affair with the duplicitous Lisa.  That is essentially the plot of the film.  The rest is 99-minutes of bad acting, bad writing, bad directing, bad lighting, bad cinematography and on and on and on.  I know, it sounds like I’m piling on.  I assure you that I’m not.  Want proof?  Don’t mind if I do.  Here’s a short clip where Lisa’s mother (Carolyn Minnott) breaks some bad news to her daughter about her health.

Still think I’m piling on?  Oh, and the health issue talked about in that clip?  It’s never mentioned again.

Nothing in the film works.  Characters pop-up randomly during scenes.  People speak their motivations aloud…even while alone.  Scenes come in and out of focus.  Characters repeatedly bring up topics only to immediately tell the person that they “don’t want to talk about it.”  Subplots are introduced and never again addressed.  Two-thirds of the way through the film an actor quit and is replaced, without explanation, by an entirely different actor (who bares absolutely no resemblance).  But please recognize…none of these things are complaints.  Far from it.  Each one of these awful, awful things only serves to make the film that much better.  It’s hilariously craptastic.

From Wiseau’s odd accent (Eastern European-ish?) to the awkwardly choreographed sex-scenes (I don’t know exactly where Lisa’s “lady business” is but it sure ain’t where Tommy seems to think it is), everything is brilliantly bad.  If you’ve never gone out of your way to see a bad movie, I implore you to start with this one.  If you’ve seen more than five movies in your life then you’ve most likely seen a bad movie on accident.  Now you should see one on purpose.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being Plan 9 from Outer Space and 1 being Citizen Kane, The Room gets a 10.


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