A movie considered as a “cult classic” rarely comes along, and the noughties answer to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, in the form of Tommy Wiseau’s incomparable The Room has proven its influence stretches far beyond a “cult” hit; it is a genuine phenomenon.
Whilst word of mouth plays a large part in the sticking power of this film, there is the most joy to have from seeing it in a packed out theatre, and fortunately the excellent Prince Charles Cinema in London’s Leicester Square is here to answer the call! A regular feature of their events programming, and screened on a monthly basis, this February sees the return of the director, star, and brain behind The Room, Tommy Wiseau, appearing live on stage!
The man, the myth, the legend that is Tommy Wiseau was in fine form in the screening I attended on the 9th February, the first of two sold out shows this evening. Signing autographs and posing for photos in the bar before, during, and after the screening of his “masterpiece”, as well as giving a brief and distinctly Tommy-esque Q&A session from the auditorium, he certainly doesn’t disappoint, and whatever your thoughts are towards the movie, you cannot deny his passion and slightly deluded love for his film is infectious.
Watching the film at home by yourself is somewhat of a soul destroying exercise; let’s not make any bones about this, it is undeniably and irrevocably terrible, a masterclass in everything that is bad about film-making from the madcap, warped genius of Wiseau. The Room is best experienced in a theatre as it is an entirely interactive experience involving a lot of shouting, audience participation and plastic spoon throwing. Don’t go to one of these screenings to soak in the dialogue or immerse yourself in the story (tongue is very firmly in cheek here!), at a Prince Charles screening, loud behaviour and interaction is encouraged, the more raucous the better.
To spoil too much of The Room experience would be a crime, but there is no greater joy to be had than screaming “SPOOOOONS” as you hurl a handful of plastic cutlery in the direction of the screen, whenever the inexplicable spoon artwork is seen. You can also enjoy endless numbers of establishing scenery shots, a terrible soundtrack, awful acting, atrocious dialogue, a plot that makes no sense and with threads that go nowhere, and a never-ending supply of unforgettable quotes (“You’re tearing me apart Lisa!”), all in the company of an army of devoted fans who keep coming back for more and more.
Quite what make The Room so wonderful is hard to describe, but a good time is guaranteed, and you’ll laugh more than you ever thought possible. So much more than a case of so bad it is good, The Room is so bad it is legendary!
Showing until the 12th February at the Prince Charles, and with other screenings intermittently throughout the year, grab your plastic spoons, don your tuxes, and prepare to enter The Room; an unforgettable cinema experience.