Sunday, May 22, 2011

Behold the Power of The Room

-John J

It was destined to happen. And the timing in which it did take place couldn't have been more perfect. The rapture was set to take place at 6 pm on 5/21, sparking a 6 month period of fire and blood and horror and texts that you can never take back. Something had to be done to properly celebrate the world's destruction.

And so beget our viewing of "The Room".

Friends talk on rooftops. Good ones, I mean. Friends, that is.

For those of you who don't know what "The Room" is, the starring actor, writer and director Tommy Wiseau created a "drama" in 2003 that revolved around a strange love affair between Tommy's character "Johnny", his girlfriend Lisa and their mutual friend Mark. The movie is lauded as one of the worst of its generation, as horrible scripting, overdubbing, unnecessary sex scenes and unexplained characters ruin what otherwise.. well it was doomed from the start.

"The Room" is a cult phenomenon. Although not to the level of "Rocky Horror Picture Show", this is still a movie that's full of awful moments to celebrate. Here's a couple of my favorites.
  • There are 5 separate sex scenes during the course of the film. Three are between Lisa and Johnny (whose roid-rage body resembles more a hairless silver back gorilla than any man), two between Lisa and Mark, and one between two characters who are literally not identified until their 3rd or 4th appearance in the film. Oh, and Lisa's plum ugly, too.
  • Wherever Tommy Wiseau is from, it's not America. Because of that, many of his scenes are over-dubbed so that he's not completely indistinguishable. Great one liners like "Seems to me like you are an expert, Mark", "You are tearing me apart, Lisa" and "Anything for my princess" is just the tip of the iceberg. You can listen to a soundboard of the best quotes by clicking here.
  • Characters in the movie say the same line multiple times. Mark is Johnny's best friend. Lisa doesn't want to talk about it. People like to say hello to Danny. To build on that last point, the whole movie is really just characters entering and exiting different rooms. It really is awful.
I knew all of this before we went and saw it in a theater. What I didn't know was the level of audience participation during the movie.

You're tearing me APART, Lisa!
We went and saw "The Room" at the famous Music Box Theater in Chicago, which is well known for its midnight screenings of terrible movies (i.e. "Human Centipede"). I was ecstatic to see that this is a big, big deal for folks who love the movie. This is a pilgrimage for people. This is my Mecca.

Every time that a painting of spoons appears in the background, audience members whip plastic ware across the theater. I never knew throwing spoons at strangers in the dark could be so much fun. The audience claps along with the generic, softcore porn music that comes on during every sex scene. B roll footage of the entire Golden Gate Bridge from one end to the other is greeted with chants of "Go, Go, Go, Go" until the camera reaches the opposite end. It's amazing to see how ritualistic a viewing of the movie is.

If you haven't seen any parts of the movie, you can Youtube the marquis moments, but I'd suggest not spoiling it for yourself. Go rent the movie off Netflix. Catch it whenever it's on Adult Swim. Or for God's sake, go see it in a theater and be part of a community. A community that understands each other, and loves one another.

Because as a great man with a steroid-infused muscular system once mumbled incoherently, "If we all had love in our hearts, the world would be a better place."

Indeed it would, Mr. Wiseau. Indeed it would.

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