The Room is a 2003 independent romantic drama directed, produced and written by Tommy Wiseau, who also stars as the main character, Johnny.
Tommy Wiseau claimed that the flaws were intentional and the movie was a black comedy but fans knew it was a poorly made drama, which was actually confirmed by the cast members.
Johnny is a successful banker who lives in a San Francisco townhouse with his future wife, Lisa. They share an intense intimate relationship characterized by constant, passionate lovemaking. Despite this idyllic existence, Lisa has inexplicably become dissatisfied with her life, and one afternoon confides to her best friend Michelle and her mother Claudette that she finds Johnny boring. Although Michelle advises her to be grateful for what she has, and her mother counsels her that financial stability is more important than happiness, Lisa decides to seduce Johnny's best friend, Mark. Although he is initially reluctant, Mark gives in to Lisa's advances. Their affair continues through the remainder of the film, even though Mark appears reluctant at the outset of each sexual encounter and repeatedly tries to break off the relationship. Lisa, meanwhile, having come to the realization that she "wants it all", decides to stay with Johnny for financial support and the material goods he can provide her. As the wedding date approaches and Johnny's clout at his bank slips, Lisa alternates between glorifying and vilifying Johnny to her family and friends, both making false accusations of domestic abuse and defending Johnny against criticisms. Meanwhile, Johnny, having overheard Lisa confess her infidelity to her mother, attaches a tape recorder to their phone in an attempt to identify her lover.
Against the backdrop of Lisa and Mark's affair, numerous subplots involving secondary characters begin to develop: Denny, a neighboring college student whom Johnny financially supports and "loves like a son", has a mysterious run-in with a drug dealer named Chris R, whom Johnny and Mark overpower and take to the police. Denny also lusts after Lisa, ultimately confessing to Johnny his attraction; once Johnny tells Denny that Lisa loves him as her friend, Denny resolves to propose to his own girlfriend. Johnny takes on a mysterious client at his bank whose identity he is sworn to protect. Claudette experiences real estate problems, bemoans failed relationships, and informs Lisa that she has breast cancer. Michelle and her boyfriend, Mike, break into Johnny and Lisa's home to have sex. Peter, a psychologist friend of Johnny and Mark's, alternates between defending Lisa and assessing her as a sociopath, which results in Mark briefly trying to murder him. Each subplot receives little exposition, and none are ever resolved.
At a surprise birthday party for Johnny, Steven, a previously unseen friend of Lisa and Johnny's, catches Lisa kissing Mark while the rest of the guests are outside and confronts her about the affair. Lisa expresses no remorse, while Mark angrily urges Steven not to tell anyone. Johnny announces to the guests that he and Lisa are expecting a child, only for Lisa to tell Steven and Michelle that she lied about it in order to "make it interesting". At the end of the evening, Lisa flaunts her affair in front of Johnny, who physically attacks Mark.
After the party, Johnny locks himself in the bathroom, prompting Lisa to make plans to leave him for Mark. Johnny finally comes out of the bathroom and retrieves the cassette recorder he attached to the phone, and listens to an intimate call between Lisa and Mark. Believing that all of his friends have betrayed him, Johnny destroys his apartment and then kills himself with a pistol. Denny, Mark and Lisa discover Johnny's corpse sometime later. Mark and Denny blame Lisa for Johnny's death, with Mark declaring he does not love Lisa and never wants to see her again. Denny asks Lisa and Mark to leave, but they stay and comfort one another as the sound of the approaching sirens grow louder.
Why It Sucks
- Numerous sub-plots that are never ever resolved, such as Denny's drug problem and Claudette's breast cancer.
- The dialogue is portrayed very blandly.
- The poster and title are both misleading because the title alone gives an impression that this is going to be a horror film about a mysterious room, when in reality it's actually a drama/romance film and most of the action doesn't take place in a single room while the poster gives an impression of Johnny is going to be a prisoner (mostly because of the weird decision to have the poster be in black and white when the film itself is in color) but he does not get arrested for anything or do anything illegal.
- Tommy Wiseau's acting is considered some of the worst acting ever performed, with no believability coming from him at all. This was due to him always looking bored and tired while speaking out weak lines.
- The sex scenes are poorly done with Johnny described as having sex with Lisa's belly button.
- There is a scene where Johnny shows his butt. This scene was inspired when Tommy Wiseau saw a movie where Brad Pitt did it.
- Tommy Wiseau gave almost no direction to the cast in the film. When Juliette Danielle asked for direction, Tommy Wiseau told her to watch the movie, Eyes Wide Shut, forcing her to wing it as a villainess.
- Every time Lisa seduces Mark, he always has to ask what's going on.
- The viewers need to be frequently told how beautiful Lisa is.
- The outdoor scenes use greenscreen instead of actually filming it outside.
- Weird and bizarre moments, like Johnny, Mark, Denny and Peter playing football while wearing tuxedos. The players simply toss the ball back and forth from very short distances as if they don't know the rules.
- Every time Johnny says "you're just a chicken", he says "cheep! cheep! cheep! cheep!" instead of "bawk! bawk! bawk! bawk!".
- At one scene, after Johnny trashed the apartment, he took a red dress and begins a disturbing simulation. This scene was supposed to show how torn up he was but judging by how bad the script is and weak the character interactions are, this only shows us that he's suffering a mental breakdown and needs to be thrown in a mental hospital rather then feel his grief.
- When Mark and Lisa find Johnny dead, Mark tells him to wake up while Lisa asks with a fake emotion if he was dead, both do not seem to notice a puddle of blood behind Johnny's head.
- This film feels like a self-advertisement of Tommy Wiseau, as Tommy only wants people to see how great of a guy he was. The movie was also made due to Tommy not getting any movie roles he wanted to play as.
- The movie has so many glaring flaws that it can be impossibly hilarious for some viewers, even if it was intended to be a drama.
- Good music.
- Johnny is a somewhat likable character, despite how poorly acted he is, and his death is kind of moving.
- There's a book about this film written by one of the film's cast members, Greg Sestero (who had acted prior to this film in Patch Adams as one of the guests at Carin's funeral; he plays Mark in this film) called The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made which explores the film's troubled history. It's a truly interesting one. Said book got a film adaptation in December 2017, starring James Franco as Wiseau, Dave Franco as Sestero, and Seth Rogen as the script supervisor Sandy Schklair, Ari Graynor as Juliette Danielle, Josh Hutcherson as Philip Haldiman, Jacki Weaver as Carolyn Minnott, Nathan Fielder as Kyle Vogt, and Sharon Stone as Sestero's agent Iris Burton.
- PewDiePie actually called this "The Greatest Movie of All Time". Seriously.
- It received an unofficial video game adaptation by Newgrounds in September 2010, telling the plot of the movie from Johnny's point of view. The game also helps clean up a ton of plotholes, such as the disappearance of Peter from the film's final act.
The movie was panned by many critics who criticized its overall poor quality, mentioning in particular the acting and the nonsensical writing. The movie received an average critic rating of 2.9/10 on RottenTomatoes and 3.6/10 on IMDb. While audiences too generally found the movie awful, several viewers appreciate it for the blatant laughable flaws it has and started a cult based on it, to the point of even getting midnight showings that fans attend dressed as their favorite character, similar to The Rocky Horror Picture Show and spawning popular memes from scenes where Tommy Wiseau doesn't pronounce words properly, such as "I did naht hit her!" and "...as a human bean".