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July 19, 2010 | by  | in Film |
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The Room


Widely touted as the “Citizen Kane of bad movies”, Tommy Wiseau’s The Room has become an instant cult classic—if not for all the wrong reasons. Offensively bad dialogue, outrageously discontinuous plotlines that appear and disappear with little logic, and some of the most terribly memorable one-liners of all-time make this a film not to miss at this year’s International Film Festival.

The Room is set in San Francisco and follows a bizarre love triangle between central character Johnny (Wiseau), his friend Mark and his fiancée Lisa, who is having embarrassingly unsexy sex with the two of them. Add to this a handful of inappropriately cast and melodramatic sideline actors who tackle heavy issues such as drug use, adoption and cancer, and you get a spectacularly terrifying effort that, as one Boston fan convincingly puts it, is “so bad it’s awesome”.

The film itself is a $6 million (US) vanity blow-out by the eccentric writer, director, producer and star Wiseau, who purportedly funded the film with money made importing leather jackets from Korea. Although that may be a rumour, it’s really just an example of the mystique that surrounds this bizarre cinematic experience. Following its abysmally bad initial reception, Wiseau has since turned to marketing his hopelessly amateur and narcissistic efforts as a ‘black-comedy’ after it became a cult-classic in the mold of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Expect some golden cinematic moments which include the particularly (un)convincing ‘flower shop’ and ‘rooftop’ scenes, inexplicable framed prints of plastic cutlery, and some stunningly terrible dialogue including the line “I definitely have breast cancer” as a casual off-hander during one onscreen conversation.

The verdict: definitely worth an hour and a half of your Saturday.

Screening as part of the New Zealand International Film Festival—July 24 (Paramount)

See the AV Club for a viewer’s guide to appropriate The Room watching etiquiette!

The Room:
Directed, produced, written by and starring Tommy Wiseau

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