I’m not one for Rocky Horror, but I love me some Room. A midnight screening of Tommy Wiseau’s masterpiece of incompetency is the most fun I’ve had at the movies, possibly ever. The cult film, famed as one of the worst movies ever made, is a grossly narcissistic showpiece for the ambiguously accented producer/writer/director/star full of graphic (and cheesy) sex, fantastic melodrama, hilarious unresolved plots and some of the most wonderfully mockable trademarks ever.
It is important, when attending a screening of The Room to follow these guidelines:
– Love the badness (and brace yourself). What’s the fun of self-indulgent intense ramblings if they’re not also horribly shot and provide you the opportunity to shout at the screen? There isn’t any. So remember, every time the boom mic drops into the shot, you can see a camera in a mirror or the plot makes an unexplained jump, it’s a good thing.
– Focus on the main plot. There’s a lot that might distract you in The Room: the many many subplots, how much Juliette Danielle (Lisa) looks like Britney Spears in her unfortunate years, your attempt to figure out where Wiseau (Johnny)’s accent comes from, Greg Sestero (Mark)’s facial hair, etc… but all you really need to know is that Johnny loves Lisa, she is sleeping with his best friend Mark, this is “tearing [Johnny] apart!”.
– Don’t be afraid. I’m the last person to volunteer for audience participation and get embarrassed easily showing too much enthusiasm in public. But that’s stupid, and no fun, so don’t do that. If you don’t interact with it, The Room is just a bad movie, and thus a waste of your time. Get into it, let yourself go, I guarantee you will still be cooler than everyone on screen.
– Tommy is your friend. The eccentric, self-financed filmmaker is the one who gave you this wonderful treasure of a movie, so don’t chastise his short-comings, encourage him, meeting blurry cinematography with “focus, Tommy, focus!” instead of drab insults. Keep it positive, people!
– Embrace the sex. There’s a lot of it and none of it is pretty. Don’t squirm. Try clapping along, or providing your own “bow chicka wow wow” porno soundtrack. Appreciate the artistry of shooting through a curtain or railings, the romance of scattered rose petals, the subtle character detail of Mark’s jeans-on love making.
– Try not to think too much. If you find yourself wondering what happened to Lisa’s mom’s once-mentioned breast cancer or the drug dealers who are after Denny (the neighbour boy who loves Lisa and is like a son to Johnny. He might be a little slow- it’s not important), forget about it, because you will never get the answer.
– Don’t question. If the guys want to stand less than a foot away from each other while playing catch, that’s their choice. If they want to play said catch while dressed in tuxedos for no apparent reason, who are you to judge?
– Follow along. Who cares if you’ve never seen the film before, you can still shout along with the horrible and circular dialogue. Whenever Mark gets sucked back into Lisa’s web of “sexiness”, join the audience in their condemnation: “But Mark, he’s your BEST FRIEND!” And when Johnny loses it in the film’s climactic scene, know that your life will be sadder if you don’t help Wiseau out with his iconic line “Lisa, you are tearing me apart!”
– Bring spoons. Lots of spoons. If you do not bring your own massive supply of plastic spoons to hurl at the screen whenever you see an unexplained framed photo of cutlery, you will be very sorry. Spoons are the life force of a good Room experience. You need spoons.
The Room is the sort of gift that only a sketchy and mysterious wackjob like Wiseau could give the world. With his stringy black hair, vaguely European (not European)-ness, stunted speech and fascination with filming his own buttocks, Tommy Wiseau is a true auteur not to be trifled with. Which is why you should go at midnight, under the cover of darkness, bring spoons!