Trolling #53: The Room (Unironically) RULES!

The Room splash

Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 underground oddball hit The Room is one of the more curious cult phenomena of the ’00s. It started its life as a largely ignored relationship drama, which somehow managed to set up camp in a Hollywood movie theater, remaining in regular rotation for several years. Thanks to its persistence, and to a now-infamous and rather cryptic billboard located on Highland Ave. in Los Angeles, The Room was eventually discovered by L.A. hipsters and smart alecks, and, long after its initial release, became a regularly attended midnight movie.

Even those that love The Room would probably agree with the assessment that, at the end of the day, it really is a hugely terrible movie. It’s stiff, self-indulgent, badly-acted, badly plotted, awkward, and off-putting. Unlike The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Room is a cult movie that doesn’t foster any sort of genuine affection from its fans. This is a movie that audiences come to laugh at, scoff at, and be pleasantly baffled by Tommy Wiseau’s movie. Any and all enjoyment of The Room is, I can comfortably declare, wholly ironic. It’s an object lesson, not an adorably earnest misfire. This view of The Room is often muddled, as Tommy Wiseau – when he saw that his film was becoming an ironic cult hit – eventually began to declare that it was intended to be a comedy all along.

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It is here is where Trolling steps in. Over in this troll-friendly corner of CraveOnline, it is our job to examine the hated and defend it from its own reputation. And while The Room has its cult of adoring snickering followers, one can argue that it’s still, on a basic level, largely hated. I have met no one who loves The Room because they consider it to be legitimately great. As such, it will be Trolling‘s job to defend this infamous cult hit from itself. When looked at in the right light, one may be able to see through the irony, and find that The Room is actually a good film. Indeed, as is our wont in this feature, we shall declare the following without a hint of irony: The Room RULES! Unironically, The Room RULES! Let’s examine why: 

Is The Room conventionally dramatic or regularly moving? Perhaps not. The dialogue is clunky and alien. The pacing is slow and weird and bad. And one can be forgiven for snickering a bunch. But if you were to stop snarking for a few minutes, you may be able to see the truth underneath The Room. The pain, the sincerity and the heartbreak. It’s all there, making this cult classic a great movie.

Until next week, let the hate mail flow. 

Witney Seibold is a contributor to the CraveOnline Film Channel, and co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. You can read his weekly Trolling articles here on Crave, and follow him on “Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.