Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tommy Wiseau's The Room is like discovering the meaning of life, only better


As M. Night Shyamalan strives to reach the unattainable Hitchcockian heights he so thoroughly desires (while single-handedly setting back the already meager number of minority Hollywood directors), his recent efforts have all but solidified his place as one of today's most consistent producers of incredibly awful unintentional comedy (see Shyamalan's cough syrup and hot dogs).

Yet despite his best worst efforts (Lady in the Water, The Happening, The Village) Shyamalan's entertaining awfulness pales in comparison to the modern day Orson Welles of awesome ineptitude, Tommy Wisseau.

Wisseau's epic dramedy gone wonderfully awry, The Room, is a meditative masterpiece on life, if life had no logic, continuity or ability to convey genuine human emotion without a terrible accent.

The overrated hype of some cult classics often border on overkill, but The Room's place in the pantheon of "So Bad, It's Horrifically Awful Good" is hard to deny. It's not mediocre and it's not garishly ornamented in the customary accoutrements of camp- it's simply and amazingly terrible, far more awful than an indie film release in 2003 on a $6 million dollar budget could plausibly be.

Seeing a friend's bootleg of it several years ago, I initially thought that
  • maybe it was just a really bad dubbing of a really bad foreign film
  • maybe it was a porn film that just happened to have even worse acting than usual and all of the sex bits cut out
  • had to have been produced in the 80's under the guise of a porn director's first foray into "serious" non-bukkake related film work
  • maybe I had been drinking too much and it couldn't possibly be as funny as it seemed
And yet after a second and even third viewing, it's awe-inspiring awfulness festered and grew inside, defying any semblance of pretentious taste left in my body.

To hate it, is to embrace the limitations of mindless mediocrity. To love it, is to know the limitless possibilities of humanity...and that no matter how bad something in life may be, it could never possibly be as bad as this.

Finally in stock on Amazon, buy it here. And for long suffering New York fans enviously yearning to partake in the film's Los Angeles following, The Room has a midnight screening at Village East Cinemas on March 20, 2009 (At least according to this page). Come revel in the ridiculous. And enjoy.

For the hardcore: A trailer for Tommy Wisseau's TV project / sitcom(?) "Neighbors":

J.J. Abrams, you have been warned.

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