My review of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room

This review is a remix of The Hollywood Reporter review of Christopher Nolan’s Inception which can be found here: , my opinion, and quotes from The Room.


“Original” doesn’t mean its chases, cliffhangers, shoot-outs, skullduggery and last-minute rescues. Movies have trafficked in those things forever. What’s new here is how writer-director Tommy Wiseau packages all this with a concept that allows his characters to chase and shoot across multiple levels of a building or something.

This is, in some ways, a con-game movie where the con is on you.

I don’t want to talk about it. *pillow fights*

Wiseau has outdone himself. “The Room” puts him not only at the top of the heap of tragedy in bad directing but it also should put this release at the top of a garbage heap somewhere. It’s very hard to see how a film that plays so bad to so many demographics would even be considered a film.

Not that the film doesn’t have its antecedents. “Tampon Commercial” featured a woman running through a field because for some reason tampons make you do that, and, of course, in “Toilet Bowl Cleaner” a blue disc cleans your toilet bowl. It’s all very exciting.

In “The Room,” Wiseau imagines a new kind of thing wherein a woman enters a man’s life and drives him crazy. This is helped by an entire team of “extractors” ie. “friends” who “act” in three rooms and sometimes outside.

Anyway, how’s your sex life?

Tommy Wiseau plays Johnny, a guy who works in computers, who is for what initially are vague reasons unemployed. Lisa (Juliette Danielle), is his girlfriend who says she loves him, but says he’s boring behind his back. YOU’RE TEARING ME APART!

Lisa wants to do the impossible: Instead of marrying Johnny, she wants to dump him to fuck Mark, an idea that will cause Johnny deep psychological trauma or something.

She’s a stupid bitch.

Meanwhile, you meet the other building dwellers –Peter (Kyle Vogt), Johnny’s  longtime friend/psychologist; Michelle (Robyn Paris), Lisa’s friend;  Denny (Philip Haldiman), some kid Johnny almost adopted and a budding pervert; and Lisa’s mother, Claudette (Carolyn Minnot), who does not live in the building but gives her opinion anyway.

“A man holds a gun on you! You almost got killed and you expect me to forget that happened?”

I want to forget every second of this film.

A good deal of the first hour is spent, essentially, selling the audience on the idea that this is really bad soft core “porn.” You witness awfully dubbed moaning (?) that fails and Johnny laughing at odd moments. The movie….I don’t even.

Oh hi Mark.

If you don’t follow all this, join the club. It will perhaps take multiple viewings of these multiple rooms or dreadful love scenes with grody “oh baby baby music” to extract any logic out of The Room. I AM NOT WATCHING THIS EVER AGAIN.

Don’t touch me motherfucker.

Something else might come more easily after I throw up: With incredibly tense situations suspended across so many scenes of throwing footballs within three feet of each other, all that lethargy in saying “Oh hi” or “bye” might induce a kind of reverse stress in audiences, producing not quite tedium, but you may want to shout, “WHERE AM I?”

Hi doggy.

This is especially true in the hectic action in one scene: a white gangster hoodlum attacks Denny. Johnny and Mark grab the assailant and take him to the police. Lisa and Claudette stay behind to yell random things at Denny.

It’ll be ok.

Probably what “sells” this “movie” is the “actors.” Wiseau disembowels filmmaking with a performance that is so atrocious yet excruciating to watch despite hysterical chaos breaking out all around him, especially as he wreaks havoc in an extended scene of him trashing his room. OH THE ROOM I GET IT NOW. Is that it?

Lisa too displays a dumb blonde aesthetic and keen stereotypical manipulation in the face of this absolute misogynistic jumble. Especially surprising is Mark as the traitor; you find yourself genuinely sympathetic to a guy who looks like he stumbled into a movie set.

Why, Johnny? Why? Johnny, why? Why?”


It is quaint that Wiseau strives to keep green screen effects to a minimum. It’s economical to reuse cuts from other love scenes. This photo-unrealism certainly helps to keep the idea that half of the movie is compiled of stock footage of San Francisco, including shots of the outside of the Full House set. Credit cinematographer Todd Baron with so neatly blending the real and surreal in incredibly awkward hokey moments. Ditto that for production designer Mercedes Younger and the various stunt coordinators and effects teams. Meanwhile, editor Eric Chase eats a sandwich. Sometimes originality comes at a cost though: At the end, you may find yourself utterly exhausted.

And I called it. I cried and yelled, “Please, please make him die at the end.”

AND OH BOY why didn’t it finish then?

Everybody betrayed me! I’m fed up with this world!

* drops mic *

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