Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Room: The Citizen Kane of Bad Movies

Normally I do my weekly blog post on the greatness on a certain television show or movie but today to switch it up I am going to talk about one of the worst movies ever made called The Room. The Room is a 2003 drama that has been called the “Citizen Kane of bad movies” and is about a love triangle between a man, his future wife, and his best friend. While many people learn from good movies, The Room is also a bad movie that young filmmakers can learn what not to do.

The biggest problems with The Room are the choices made by the production team, which is pretty much all one man. Tommy Wiseau is not only the film’s director, producer, distributor, main star, and writer, but he is also credited as an executive producer! As we have learned in groups, movies and television shows are made by a team and not just by one person. Each person is responsible for their own roles and responsibilities but having one person be in charge of everything may make certain areas of the film sloppy and not well thought out. There are rumors that Wiseau did have a crew of 400 people but replaced the entire crew twice after disputes. Many of the crew members took on extra roles. Greg Sestero was not only Mark in the film but also a line producer, Wiseau’s assistant, and helped with casting. Wiseau was also very inexperienced himself to begin with. For example he shot simultaneously on 35 mm film and high definition video with cameras on the same mount because he was unsure of the formats and how the final product would look.

The script of the film also suffers. Not only did the script supervisor had to take Wiseau’s script and make it comprehensible since most of the dialogue was just “unsayable” there are many plot holes and strange pieces of dialogue. For example the main characters are all in alley playing catch wearing tuxedos. They mention wedding photos despite the wedding being a month away. When asked about this scene Wiseau simply said that playing football without the proper equipment is fun and challenging. One of the most famous lines of dialogue occurs mid conversation where a character just randomly says, “I got the results of the test back. I defiantly have breast cancer.” Despite this large reveal and moment it is never mentioned or brought up again for the rest of the movie! Unhappy with most of the dialogue after shooting Wiseau dubbed the lines in post and most of it does not sync with the scene or the actor’s mouth. This results in a hilarious scene at the local flower shop.

Finally the casting for the movie is just the icing on the bad movie cake. Wiseau claimed he casted most actors based solely on looking at headshots. One of the actors even quit halfway through the shoot and the rest of his lines were given to Greg Ellery whose character is never introduced, explained, or addressed by name. The worst actor of the bunch is definitely Wiseau himself. Not only can the audience not understand what he is saying but he overuses his arms and just speeds through most of his dialogue without pausing for beats or breaks.

Despite all of these negatives The Room has developed a cult following and continues to have midnight screenings around the world. Wiseau promotes the film as black comedy and that the humor is intentional. Whether that is true or not The Room is definitely a movie you will laugh during, whether it is at the movie or with it.

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