Have you ever seen a movie so bad that you actually come to like it?
In 2003, the world was introduced to Tommy Wiseau when he released a passion project that would impact American pop culture forever. That film would be called The Room, and it was soon considered one of the worst pieces of cinema ever created. Take note that this film is not to be confused with the critically acclaimed Room (2015), starring Brie Larson.
The Room follows the lead character, Johnny (played by Wiseau), his ill-fated relationship with his fiancée, Lisa, and his best friend, Mark. The story starts off bright and hopeful, but slowly descends into a twisted tale made up of infidelity, bad acting, and football. No, seriously.
As an avid movie lover, I have heard The Room mentioned multiple times on Internet discussion groups. Hearing about it is almost like hearing an urban legend; tales speaking of a film so fundamentally flawed and bizarre that it actually manages to be great in a twisted sort of way. Surprisingly, I never had the opportunity to see it, until now.
On Sept. 8, Bexley’s own Drexel Theatre held its monthly showing of The Room, and I was fortunate enough to land a ticket to what would turn out to be… quite the experience. It was here, at the Drexel, that I truly understood how much of a cult following the movie has. A mass of people stood anxiously in the lobby awaiting the start of the event, and there were even a few cosplayers dressed as the movie characters. One of the strangest things I saw though, was that people were bringing boxes of plastic spoons, and one guy even brought a football. It turns out, these items would all play a role during the show. Could a movie this bad really have such a dedicated fan base?
“When you see blockbuster movies that are made to just make money, I’d say they’re worst than The Room,” said Noah Gruenberg, an Ohio University student who has been attending the monthly showings for nearly four years now. “This was made with a lot [of] heart, it just wasn’t done well. Bad technique, good heart!”
I kept this in mind as I took my seat. The theater room eventually became so full that the Drexel staff had to open up another room for the overflow. Despite being shoulder-to-shoulder with complete strangers, it was for the best that I stayed where I was. What followed was the most fun I ever had going to a movie theater.
Don’t expect to watch this movie in a quiet theater. As soon as the credits started rolling, the entire audience began cracking jokes and other hilarious commentary as the scenes unfolded. It felt like I was in an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, and trust me, this is the best way to experience the movie while keeping your sanity intact.
Earlier, I mentioned that people brought in plastic spoons and a football, and here’s why. You see, for some odd reason, in the movie there’s a framed pictured of a spoon. Every time it’s in frame, people throw plastic spoons at the movie screen. By the end movie, there was a sea of plastic spoons at the front of the theater. There’s also many scenes where the characters randomly play football, so when this happens, a group of guys go to the front of the theater and start throwing their football around.
It sounds chaotic, but the audience’s interactions really enhanced the movie overall. I recommend that you grab your best friend and go to next month’s showing of The Room!