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1 April, 2009 / Erik

Best of Yakmala: The Room

If you happened to be watching Cartoon Network early this morning, you witnessed a feeble, sad, and outrageously funny independent feature known as The Room. It was recently covered in Entertainment Weekly and the Onion AV Club. Yakmala was lucky enough to learn about this film back in summer and became the first shoe-in for Best of 2009.

room1The Plot: Johnny is a good man who loves Lisa. Lisa is bored with Johnny and starts an affair with Mark. Denny is confused young man with keys to Johnny’s apartment. Lisa’s mother has breast cancer. Unrelated people sneak into Johnny’s apartment a lot. Football is played by tossing a ball around at a distance no great than five feet. Time and space is warped as Mark appears to have sex with Lisa and jog with Johnny at the park at the same time. After a birthday party that appears to go on for weeks, Johnny kills himself when he learns of Lisa’s infidelity.

If it reads like a Skinemax plot, that’s no mistake. The Room most closely resembles a late night soft corn porn movie. Complete with some boobage (of the female kind).

What makes The Room special is the unmistakable sincerity its writer/director/star Tommy Wiseau poured into the film. The man was clearly hurt (and may have hurt someone along the way) and needs to show the world how he was wronged. It is, in its way, a young writer’s early attempt to come to grips with a bad break-up. Factor in that Tommy looks like this:


Tommy is one of those special people that could only make sense in Los Angeles. However, unlike Angelyne or Mark Woodruff, Actor, Tommy did accomplish something it making a film. Flawed and terrible as it is, Tommy made somethng of himself and the city rewarded him with uncomfortable fame.

The “success” of the room is based in one important factor: Someone with passion made a movie. One of the key differences in Yakmala film is misguided passion and no film we’ve ever watched is as misguided as this one. Unlike Repo! The Genetic Opera, Tommy Wiseau never meant to court this audience. He thought he was making a profound statement and instead he found us.

If you missed the broadcast last night, here’s a clip that just about says it all:

It’s been a long time since you could legitimately add a movie to the pantheon of film that include Plan 9 from Outer Space and Manos: the Hands of Fate. The Room easily sits on that shelf and Tommy Wiseau deservedly joins Ed Wood and Harold P. Warren and the table of awesomely bad directors.


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