Review / Throwback Review

The Room

by Zachary Kalik


Sometimes in life, when you have a bad day, something well made just simply isn’t going to cheer you up. What you need is something so unbelievably bad that its absurdity somehow ends up brightening up your day. It’s ironic that the movie in question, The Room, directed by Tommy Wiseau. was intended to be a tragedy, yet fails so miserably that you can’t help but enjoy yourself as you watch it.

This film is about a man named Johnny who is soon to be engaged to the love of his life, Lisa. But Lisa doesn’t love Johnny anymore, and decided to cheat on Johnny with his best friend Mark. Will Johnny find out, and what other hijinks will ensue?

What makes this movie bad on a technical standpoint is, well….everything! But first, let’s talk about the dialogue and subsequently the acting. The dialogue in this film is incredibly stilted. Nothing that any of the characters say feels natural. It does not seem like these people are talking like human beings, but rather spitting back up the atrocious script with the worst acting you’ll ever see. For instance, there’s one scene where, out of nowhere, Johnny asks Mark about his sex life. There’s no lead up to it. They are just sitting in a restaurant having a casual conversation and then Johnny asks Mark “how is your sex life?” And of course there’s the famous example of the scene where Johnny buys flowers. Walking into a flower shop and buying flowers sounds like a relatively easy scene to make, but the combination of the terrible script and awful acting makes this scene the most unbelievably bizarre, stilted, and hilarious scenes you may ever see.

There’s also a plethora of scenes that add absolutely nothing to the plot. Every scene where the guys go out and play football, to the multiple scenes where Lisa talks to her mom (especially the one where her mom brings up the fact she has breast cancer), to the scene where Danny, a kid who is like a son to Johnny, almost gets shot for not having the money to pay for the drugs he bought all feel unnecessary. They lead nowhere, and it’s hilariously jarring that there are so many completely pointless scenes in this film, especially considering the intensity of some of these issues. You would think having breast cancer would be made into a bigger deal, but in the bizarre world that this movie exists in, I suppose it doesn’t.

And finally, there are the scenes that are so bad and jarring that they might as well have been made on a different planet. There’s the scene where Johnny finds out about the false rumors Lisa had been spreading about him hitting her, and his reaction is the holy grail of bad acting. And who can forget Johnny’s strange imitation of a chicken. These scenes are all up there with how far you can push the boundaries of absurdity and are truly what make the movie as bad, but also as enjoyable, as it is.

The Room is one of the biggest disasters that I’ve ever seen and that’s what makes it so beautiful. This movie is the very definition of ‘so bad it’s good’ and I cannot imagine someone intentionally making a movie like this. You can see glimpses of Tommy Wiseau’s intentions to make a cult classic movie, and how misguided those intentions were because of how much of an awful this movie turned out to be. It’s clear that there was genuine effort put in, so the fact that it fails so badly in spite of this is part of what made this train wreck so funny and enjoyable. In fact, the only parts of the movie I can say weren’t enjoyable were the plethora of pointless sex scenes, which after a while just got a bit tedious. Thus, this is definitely the kind of movie you absolutely need to experience at least once. I recommend watching it with a group of friends to get the most enjoyment out of it. You’ll be quoting it for weeks.

4.5 out of 5 stars


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