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'The Room' - An Anti-Valentine's Disaster Movie

One has to imagine the inspiration for the title, The Room, was possibly the retort "get a room". This wayward movie shares half of its title with the drama Room, starring Brie Larson in an Oscar-winning performance. As much as they demonstrate they've got the wardrobe, dressing up to the nines in tuxedos to toss the pigskin around, that's about as close as they'll get to the coveted awards ceremony... unless you count James Franco's one degree of separation, although perhaps let's not think too hard about the year he and Anne Hathaway tried to fill Billy Crystal's shoes.

Having his name appear countless times in the opening credits, it's safe to assume that this is the outpouring of Tommy Wiseau's love for movies whose passion precedes his finesse when it comes to film-making. In truth, Wiseau wasn't trying to make a masterpiece, delving into the realm of soft core soap opera... unwittingly creating an anti-Valentine's disaster movie in the process. You can watch The Room via archive.org.

The Room Movie

While infamous, The Room has become a cult sensation... the stuff of midnight screenings, now celebrated in the age of memes for its overcooked romance and unbridled chutzpah. At the centre of the flowery fiasco is Wiseau, who relishes the opportunity to star in his own movie. Having inspired The Disaster Artist, the misguided imaginings of Wiseau have inadvertently created a schlock masterpiece, helping many students of film appreciate just how wrong things can go with the best of intentions.

Wiseau certainly didn't set out to make a mediocre or even terrible movie but as naïve as it may be, that's what arrives on the plate. Luckily it falls into the so-bad-its-good heap, turning the film-maker into something of a legend. An enigmatic figure as expressed by James Franco in The Disaster Artist, there's not all that much background detail on Wiseau whose non-specific accent, raven locks and serious-casual demeanour echo Ian McShane but leave audiences suspended on the cusp of intrigue like a Disney villain without a back story. Perhaps this explains the magic of The Room, a movie coasting on its play-within-a-play curiousity.

There's a healthy dollop of cheese that infuses this half-baked, underwritten and broad brushstroke romance drama. Essentially a love triangle about a fiercely devoted man who would do anything for his wife-to-be, the chump factor sets in as it turns out she's schtuping his friend. Loyal to a fault, believing the best in everyone... this tale has a heightened fall-from-grace story to find its hero betrayed in spectacular fashion. Doling out the bedspread rose petals, chocolates and florist bouquets like St. Valentine himself, his only crime was he loved too much.

The Room is famous for its one-liners, which have a casual throwaway quality as they're dished out. The organic delivery is at odds with the words themselves, awkwardly arranged to stagger into existence. Perhaps ad-libbed dialogue would've worked better on the day rather than what hits the ear but that's the magic and tragedy of The Room. If it weren't for Tommy Wiseau, this movie would not have been memorable and perhaps that's his greatest contribution... adding his awkward star quality to the mix.

As it stands, this colourful and cheesy movie has a full spectrum of wacky and weird. While acknowledged for its off-key performances and leftfield scripting, it summons up the furore of a Greek tragedy on a shoestring budget. From CGI backdrops, classic one-liners, Meatloaf style lovemaking scenes and tossing the football with the boys, The Room has created something hilariously iconic and memorable for all the wrong reasons. Derailed from the get-go, the movie gets special license to entertain without having to adhere to conventional film-making rules, a divergent space where all of its actions and dialogues make complete sense to its characters and world.

While there's a misguided undertone to almost every decision, there's equally a sense of glee that underpins the movie - driven by earnest performances and surefire confidence. That's what is so admirable about The Room, a movie that is passionately authentic in its complete antithesis, able to be celebrated for going full throttle ahead without an oar.