the colonial theatre marquee

The Room

Directed by Tommy Wiseau. US. 2003. R. 99 minutes. Wiseau Films. 35mm.
Sponsored by You've Got Geek
Fri., May 18, 2012

“Tommy Wiseau’s The Room may be the first true successor to the Rocky Horror [midnight movie] throne. Since ending a two-week run at Laemmle’s Sunset 5 theater in Los Angeles in 2003, Wiseau’s self-distributed anti-gem has nurtured a cult following through once-a-month midnight screenings. And in the time since, as devotees continue to plumb the mysteries of its mesmerizing inanity, the audience has taken ownership of it: They throw spoons. They shout a repertoire of canned and spontaneous zingers at the screen. They reenact whole scenes in front of the theater. They toss the ol’ pigskin around.

Thanks mainly to an excellent Entertainment Weekly piece by Clark Collis, what was once a well-kept L.A.-only secret—or as secret as anything promoted by a bizarre billboard could be—has recently been spreading throughout the country, popping up in sold-out shows in New York and other cities, and on a recent episode of Tim And Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! Approaching the film as a Chicago-based outsider, with a healthy skepticism of L.A. phenomena of any stripe, I’m now convinced that it’s the real deal. It may not have the staying power of a Rocky Horror, if only because midnight-movie culture just isn’t as sustainable as it once was, but in the annals of bad cinema, The Room deserves shelf-space next to Ed Wood’s Glen Or Glenda? Both are personal and shockingly amateurish laughers that put their directors in front of the camera and are all too revealing of their odd peccadilloes. Wood has a thing for angora sweaters; Wiseau has a thing for pillow fights, red roses, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Who are we not to luxuriate in their fetishes?” (Scott Tobias, read the full review at The Onion A.V. Club.com)