Review: The Room

Mark and Johnny playing ball on the roof (why? who knows)
I recently attended a screening of Tommy Wiseau's cult phenomenon, The Room, at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. I don't really know how one goes about reviewing the playfully titled 'Citizen Kane of bad movies' so instead I'm going to give a little account of the film and what goes on at one of these screenings.

The Room is a mystery and the man behind it is even more of an enigma. Some may have you believe it's just an incredibly badly made drama, others have stated it's an intentional black comedy. Whichever of these is true - it's a bizarre masterpiece. The Room was written, produced, directed and stars Wiseau in the lead role and tells the story of Johnny, a man caught in a love triangle with his cheating fiancee, Lisa and his best friend, Mark (Greg Sestero). 

Having seen clips on Youtube, I vaguely knew the sort of film I was letting myself in form, yet I did not know many of the practices that take place at one of the film's numerous midnight screenings. 

Johnny hears Mark's funny story...
Once seated in the auditorium, we saw a great number of people carrying plastic spoons, which we soon discovered were pelted at the screen every time a spoon was shown on screen (there's a bizarre amount of spoon related artwork in the film, as you soon discover when hordes of plastic spoons come hurling down from the sky). If in one of the front rows it becomes your responsibility to pass the spoons back, in order for people to reload before another piece of spoon related artwork appears. 

Other procedures involved shouting "Sestosterone!" every time the manly Mark appears on screen or does something vaguely macho; welcoming most characters on screen with "Hi _____" in the style of Mr. Wiseau himself or yelling "Because you're a woman!" everytime a female character asks a question about herself. There's really a plethora of shout-outs and activities for your pleasure (all of which can be found here). There's a vast number of hilarious plot holes and continuity errors most noticeably from unexpected back stories to random characters popping up. There's also a LOT of sex scenes, and no offence to Tommy Wiseau, he's not the sort of man you want to see in that way. Greg Sestero also has his fair share (in particular one that feels like it goes on for a quarter of the film's duration).

There's so much more to discuss but it's far easier if you see The Room and experience the madness first hand. So go forth and seek a viewing of this hot mess of a film.

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