I love film.
Video production is a beautiful, artistic form of expression that allows us to capture emotion in real time. However, attention and meticulous technique are required to make a good film. In my opinion, making a brilliant piece demands attention to the smallest of details, an appeal to an audience, and a clear message or purpose. One cannot simply become a filmmaker overnight. If that were possible, I would drop out of college and spend all my savings (which is not a lot) on an independent film that could steal all the awards at Sundance Film Festival. I, of course, would not dream of doing such a reckless thing. I’m aware that I lack the experience and knowledge required to even catch the attention of Sundance attendees, or any major festival for that matter. Tommy Wiseau, however, was one man who believed he was in fact naturally talented enough to write, produce, direct, and star in his own masterpiece, The Room
Let me clarify…
When I call The Room a masterpiece, I don’t mean that Wiseau captured audiences with his clever dialogue, charming screen presence, and complex story. Wiseau’s film is wildly popular for one reason: it is one of the worst films ever made. Like I said, I love film and appreciate it in its entirety, which is exactly why The Room interests me so much despite its painfully obvious flaws.
A little background…
Tommy Wiseau released The Room in Los Angeles in June of 2003. He had a $6 million budget provided entirely by him through the sale of imported leather jackets from Korea. The film’s main character, Johnny (Wiseau), is a successful banker who lives in San Francisco with his “future wife”, Lisa (Juliette Danielle). The two seem like a happy couple until Lisa gets “bored” with Johnny and begins a romantic relationship with his best friend, Mark (Greg Sestero). The film primarily focuses on the drama of Lisa and Mark’s affair, but it also briefly addresses (and I mean very briefly) multiple issues such as drug use, breast cancer, and why no one should play football in tuxedos. The dialogue is equally as hard to follow as the scattered, confusing plot of the entire movie. It’s as if Wiseau wanted to make his movie so dramatic, so moving that he just wrote in every major issue he could think of to add conflict to every scene. One really has to watch The Room to see what an absolutely, incredibly horrible film it is.
Don’t worry. There’s a happy ending.
Originally, Wiseau planned for The Room to be a major motion picture, but nowadays, he claims the movie is a “black comedy”. Despite The Room’s major flop in the box office, only raking in under $2,000, the movie has become a cult classic. On the film’s last day in theaters, over 100 people attended the showing because of the hilarious reputation The Room had earned. In May of 2004, Wiseau began showing the movie in select theaters around the country. Tommy Wiseau may have failed on every level to create a brilliant, meaningful film; but what he created is indeed a masterpiece.