On a lukewarm Saturday night in March of 2016, The Landmark Inwood in Dallas (a theater known for airing cult classics), hosted a midnight showing of “The Room” — a movie that perfectly defines the “cult classic” genre even further than “Rocky Horror.” Telling the story of an overly friendly and trusting banker named Johnny whose fiance, the cunning and flirtatious Lisa, is cheating on him with his best friend, Mark, no moviegoer should feel lost within the plot of the movie — or so I thought.

 

Starring, directed, written and produced independently by the eccentric and mysterious Tommy Wiseau, the 2003 film discusses the realistic themes of love, heartbreak, adultery, as well as the stark and depressing realization that you are bored with your life. However, “The Room” illustrates these themes horribly. While the main plot which consists of a common love triangle theme of “man’s fiance cheats on him with his best friend”, is easy to follow, the movie devolves into several extreme side plots which are instantly introduced, and then completely abandoned, never to be discussed again throughout the film.

 

The two best examples of this phenomenon, is when Lisa’s mother, Claudette, informs her daughter of the tragic news that she’s been diagnosed with breast cancer. Instead of this revelation diverting into a fully explained subplot, Lisa responds, “Don’t worry about it. Everything will be fine.” After this incredibly brief exchange, Claudette’s possibly life-threatening cancer is never brought up again.

 

 

Unfortunately because the world is an unfairly cruel place, “The Room” received a limited theatrical run. The only theaters in Los Angeles to justly allow “The Room” to air were the Laemmle Fairfax and Fallbrook Theatres; the infamous film aired for two weeks, with an all caps “NO REFUNDS” sign due to several patrons requesting one.

 

In terms of an overall box office performance, the film made the 2018 equivalent of a meager $2,395 against a reported budget of over $6 million, the overwhelming majority of which came out of Wiseau’s own pocket. To this day, it is still considered one of the worst movies ever made.

 

The Room (film)

The Room (Business Insider)

Recently one of a few people to see the widely unpopular film, Michael Rousselet of the 5-Second Films film group, loved the strange and unconventional humor of the movie and by telling his friends who subsequently told their friends, “The Room” began to develop a cult following so much so that the Franco brothers even produced a movie on the making of the film.

 

Many fans of the dignified cult classic now have more to rejoice about because on January 10, the entertainment provider of fine artistic events like The Metropolitan Opera and concerts of symphonies, hosted a screening of the film. The “one night only” screening of the movie as eccentric and hilarious as its director, proved to be a huge success; so much so that Fathom Events announced a second showing of the film “back by popular demand”, to take place on January 19. 

 

It is truly a strange world we live in. Tommy Wiseau’s life is one gigantic enigma wrapped up in a mystery. However, with the underdog success of “The Room,” within the cult classic genres, his life is oddly motivational and I would not be surprised if Wiseau himself ends up writing a book.

 

Are you a Tommy Wiseau fan? If so, tell me your favorite quote from “The Room” on Twitter @CaptainKasoff.