Sunday, 2 May 2010
The Room: Or How I Learnt To Stop Worrying And Love The Wiseau
I have never been a subscriber to the ever-expanding so bad it's good movie cult. ( Wow, total moment of revelation. That's where the word Cult comes from. Culture! Fucking rad man, and also how embarrassing that I never realized that before.) I may laugh, but its a cheap knee-jerk laugh, one that is unclean and I'll bemoan my conceding to it days after. I tell myself this is someone's ultimate contribution to the universe, what their entire life has built up to, a culmination of a life-long dream in many places and here everyone is, from their ivory tower of critical distance, ripping the shit out of it for the sake of LOLZ. To use a particularly crude simile, if seeing a truly great, mind-blowing movie is like having sex with the love of your life, then seeing a renowned shit movie for the purposes of your own amusement is going to a regent street prostitute. You may enjoy it in the ignorance of the moment and it'll get you where you need to go, but as soon as your done cometh the guilt and rightful self-loathing. That's the experience I usually have with these kinds of movies anyway.
But not with The Room. I enjoyed every fucking minute of it. Nowhere to be found was the leftover catholic guilt or spoil sport rationalization. I just flat-out enjoyed laughing at this guy's hideous, incomprehensible incompetence without one moment of hesitation. Why could I do this? Well I think it has a lot to do with Mr Tommy Wiseau himself. Wiseau is like a hideous version of Vincent Gallo, in which all the same features are there, but somehow distorted into their most visually repulsive formation. Wiseau shares some character traits with Gallo too. The deluded, near stratospheric arrogance, the ever intruding ego, in which all of their creations and anything that might emanate therefrom exist solely to show the world how truly awesome they are. But whereas Gallo made Buffalo 66, Wiseau's arrogance seems to perpetuate itself through what must be at this point an unbreakable delusion of his own genius. The thing is, Wiseau doesn't care about film-making, he doesn't care about writing. He used this medium for its exposure, so people would finally acknowledge him for the tortured artiste he truly is, so people would stop and fucking take notice. And do you know what? They did.
Because, in some bitter twist of irony, the Room has become a film that brings happiness to all that see it, just not in a single way it intended. It makes you stop and take solace in your own life and say, well at least I'm not this guy. But in a funny way, its become even more then that. The screening that I went to was almost delirious ritual, in which people dress up as characters, bring spoons to hurl at the screen ( Because spoons are totally in the film for no reason repeatedly, guys. For like no reason at all.) scream along to the film's most atrocious moments - mostly involving Wiseau's attempts at acting, often involving him not knowing when to enunciate in the English language, or when he tries to steal any given scene by shouting for no reason at all. In fairness though, Al Pacino did the same thing in Heat - and just generally shouting diatribes and insults at the screen whenever they feel like it. It's like some kind of movie going roast, which I just found to be near nirvanic in its awesomeness. As someone who makes cheap jokes about film's shitness in much of his spare time, it was an anarchic Oz to my usual sedentary Kansas.
I can scream ' THIS IS SHIT' and nobody cares, I can make half-baked asides to my friends and nobody cares ( I played around with shouting out ' Get a room' during one of the film's numerous sex scenes, but totally chickened the fuck out. Plus the pun was terrible.) isn't this empowering. Not having to sit silently through what ever shit I'm watching this week. Oh audience inter-activity, heaven doesn't deserve to speak thy name. And the film itself was everything I'd thought it would be and more. There was a technical error roughly every 11 seconds of screen-time, the acting was awful, the script nonsensical to the point of near insanity ( A character named Denny, would just appear randomly from fucking anywhere, and yet from fucking nowhere) and all in all, it reflects Wiseau the man more accurately then meeting with him ever could, as I genuinely believe he thinks that with the Room, He wrote A Streetcar Named Desire for the new millennium. Hell, wikipedia says that he compared himself to Tennessee Williams. What a Douche.
There is a telling scene near the end of the film, in which Wiseau's body lies dead and three people pine over him as if he were Jesus or something ( SPOILER ALE...Oh fuck it.) I think this was supposed to be the film's most poignant moment, in which Wiseau tries to present that the loss of him, his vision and his personality would be some crippling blow to humanity. I am a martyr for my art, guys. Seriously. But, thanks to his sheer inadequacy, he frames the shot so it looks like all his mourners are giving his deceased corpse fellatio. So this is why I don't mind finding humor at this guy's artistic expense, because Wiseau isn't a human being, he's an ego wanting people to bow down. So fuck him. And see this film, preferably with as many people as possible, and you'll get perhaps what might be the ultimate point and laugh movie-going experience.
You're tearing me apart, Lisa.