Bad plot, bad porn: “The Room”

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The Room

"Oh hi Mark!"

Imagine a film that has it all. Every scene is perfectly shot – the way the camera moves is entrancing. The dialogue is gripping and delivered masterfully. The physical acting is just as good, with body language and expressions that seem genuine and effortless. The score is one of the most beautiful you’ve ever heard, and the special effects rival real life. Imagine that film.

You must imagine it, because “The Room” is not that film.

“The Room” (2003) is in fact possibly the furthest from such a film that we as a human society have managed to produce. On release, it grossed just above five-and-a-half million dollars worldwide – it had an estimated budget of six million.

The movie isn’t available for streaming on any major platform. The easiest way to watch it is with a link to an unlisted and inaccurately titled Youtube video.

Still considered a masterpiece by its director, writer, executive producer, and lead actor Tommy Wiseau, the film is a cult classic. It touts the title of “worst film ever made” according to most sources. This is the redeeming quality of “the Room” – being so bad, so horrible in every aspect, it’s actually enjoyable.

The story is straightforward, all things considered. Johnny (Wiseau) is a wealthy banker in San Francisco. He’s engaged to Lisa (Juliette Daniel) and his best friend is named Mark (Greg Sestero). Things start going wrong however, as Mark engages in an affair with Lisa.

Unfortunately, Wiseau couldn’t even deliver on this simple narrative.

It’s hard to quantify just how bad “the Room” is. It’s hard to pinpoint a worst scene – in a dumpster fire, nobody complains about a specific piece of trash.

The flower shop scene is specifically notorious. About twenty minutes into the film, Wiseau’s character Johnny parks his car outside a flower shop. He enters the building, buys a dozen roses, then leaves.
That sounds like a hard scene to botch. Which it is. No ordinary film should be able to mess up that scene so poorly it stands out as laughably bad.

“The Room” is not an ordinary film.

Johnny leaves his car and enters the flower shop. He asks for a dozen roses before being recognized by the shop owner. He pays for his roses, telling the owner to keep the change. Johnny then pets an overweight pug sitting on the counter and takes his flowers. As he leaves, the owner remarks that he’s her favorite customer. We get a brief shot of Johnny returning to his car, and then the scene ends.
This is all achieved in less than forty-five seconds. Three quarters of a minute cut to cut.
The shit-to-second ratio of this scene is astronomically high.

None of the lines were recorded in the shot. Every word was poorly dubbed in – the speech doesn’t match the movement of the actors’ mouths, and their lines play over each other. The acting is stiff, the cuts from shot to shot are timed horribly, and there are noticeable inconsistencies.

This is “The Room” experience, and the flower shop scene is not even close to the only of its caliber. Another scene infamous for its poor quality is called the “Oh, hi, Mark” scene amongst the movie’s followers.

Then, there’s the truly awful. The scenes that make the rest of the movie almost bearable.
These are the sex scenes.

There are seven scenes which cross from tame to risqué – some take that crossing further than others. These seven scenes amount to almost twenty minutes of poorly shot, voiced, acted and performed porn. Nothing about them is sexy or engaging in any way.

But hell if they aren’t hilarious.

Much like the more family friendly scenes, the adult portions of “The Room” are horrendous beyond repair, but the horrible acting, the unforgivable angles and the almost surreal editing make them comedic gold mines – sitting around a laptop with friends is undeniably the best way to watch “The Room” purely for the laughs that can be had at its expense.

If you want a good movie, look elsewhere.

If you want a movie so bad, so cinematically heinous that it transcends quality, watch “The Room”.