It’s a thing for filmmakers to intentionally create something poor in quality just for laughs, but writer/director Tommy Wiseau generally thinks he’s created a masterpiece that, in a way, he does. He and his infamous film The Room have so much conviction every step of the way that’s made it so lovable even amongst the most pretentious circles of cinephiles.
It takes a certain type of person to make something as entertainingly terrible as The Room. As evident here, Wiseau doesn’t quite understand social norms or filmmaking conventions in the way most people do, even just inherently. Maybe his disconnect has to do with the fact that he’s ambiguously foreign. Or maybe it’s just his odd way of looking at things. Or maybe it’s a combination of the two. Either way, it makes for ridiculous results.
The movie’s premise is simple. Johnny, played by Wiseau, and his “future wife”, Lisa (Juliette Danielle), experience trouble when she becomes romantically interested in his best friend, Mark (Greg Sestero).
The fact that Wiseau, who’s a terrible actor, plays the main character makes the film even more entertaining. But The Room is bad even when he’s not on screen, simply because the script is so terrible too.
Written by someone with a 5th grade understanding of relationships—or perhaps even a 5th grade understanding of life in general—The Room is filled with cliches that don’t even make sense within the context of the story. Breaking seemingly every filmmaking rule in existence, this is the type of movie where, if a character needs to buy flowers, you get to watch an unnecessary, dialogue-filled scene where he actually goes to the store to buy them with no world building, or development of the story or the people inhabiting it.
Characters are constantly and unintentionally contradicting themselves with both their words and actions that it’s impossible to create a profile for any of them—despite a script that literally tells you everything going on inside of their heads with a deluge of stream-of-conscious dialogue that overbears the audience to a point of insanity. We can venture to guess that this sloppiness stems from Tommy, who, when writing the script, continuously verbalized what the audience was thinking rather than what the characters were thinking. With no sense of time or character consistency, the lines of dialogue are almost never paying any attention to the ones before them. The characters keep referring to things that they don’t, and couldn’t, even know about yet.
You probably don’t need to read this review to know that The Room is bad. It’s one of the most famously bad movies of all time. And yet, there are two things it does well: It makes you laugh, and it really does make you interested in how it’s going to resolve, finding unpredictability with its disregard for reason and logic. And both of these things are what keep you wanting more.
Most bad movies have no business being bad, but The Room has every right to be.