‘The Room’ is a 2003 and film written, produced, directed by and starring Tommy Wiseau that has gone on to become a cult phenomenon. Known as the best wrost movie ever made theatres around the world are packed with football passing, spoon throwing audience whenever it is shown.
How ‘The Room’ was made has been the subject of a best selling book ‘The Disaster Artist’ written by co star Greg Sestero that has now been turned into a film ‘The Masterpiece’ by James Franco. While a separate documentary ‘Room Full of Spoons’ attempted to solve the mystery of exactly who Tommy Wiseau is. Other actors from ‘The Room’ created the mockumentary webseries ‘The Room Actors: Where are they now?’
Simply put people love the “Citizen Kane of Bad Movies” so much that it has become an institution in the years following it’s 2003 release.
Of course while ‘The Room’ is known as the best of the worst, the worst of the worst also debuted in 2003. Jennifer Lopez and Ben Afleck’s vanity project ‘Gigli’, a film so bad it swept the Razzies and a film so bad no one dresses up to go to a midnight screening.
What makes ‘The Room’ special is that somewhere in there, lost in the subplots and questionable acting choices. Obscured by the repeated recut sex scenes and dropped in replacement actors. Hidden behind the stock footage of San Francisco, football tossing and framed pictures of spoons, there is actually a good story, a story about love and loss and friendship torn apart.
I’m not saying that there is a good movie trying to get out, but there is a story that is relatable. ‘The Room’ has a human heart to it, just enough to engage.
Then there is a cultural phenomena of it. The countless scenes of guys tossing an American football back and forth, sometimes while in evening dress, the framed pictures of plastic sporks and spoons, that decorate the titular room, the one scene subplots, vanishing friends replaced with no warning and quickly passing cancer. All things that gain a reaction for the audience.
Why do people throw spoons at the movie screen, because it’s fun. Why stand outside the theatre tossing a football before going in, because it’s fun. Why scream “Who the F is this guy?” when Steven turns up at the party because well because no one actually knows who Steven is.
Going to a screening of the ‘The Room’ isn’t about analysing the film, it isn’t about knowing nods at how bad the film is, it’s about having fun. In that way Tommy Wiseau accomplished something few film makers ever do. He bought people together in joy. The fact he didn’t quite plan it that way is beside the point.
‘The Room’ cannot be explained, it can’t be studied and broken down. ‘The Room’ simply is, it must be experienced at least twice. Once seen however you’ll never be able to pass a bulldog without saying ” Oh Hai Doggie”.