Saturday, January 09, 2010

The Room (2003): Netflixin 1/4/10

  • Why I rented it: I read somewhere that this is one of the worst movies of all time. Count me in.

  • Verdict: 1.5/10 (execution); 7/10 (entertainment factor). Yep, file under "so bad it's good." I suppose the plot is no worse than what I imagine daytime soap operas get away with on a daily basis. But the what really induces guffaws from this ridiculous movie is the "acting." The writer / director / producer / star has one facial expression (eyes half-closed blankness) and delivers his lines in one tone of voice (vaguely Eastern European monotone), context be danged. Looking like an imitation of Sylvester Stallone imitating Fabio, his roided-out physique (oddly reminiscent of a smoked ham) is showcased grotesquely in the all-too-frequent softcore love scene setpieces. The rest of the cast is only marginally better. Here are some of the characteristics of the bizarre otherworld in which The Room is set:

    The movie is set in San Francisco. In case you forget this at any time during viewing, wait approximately three to five minutes for a gratuitous shot of a San Franciscan landmark (Golden Gate, Transamerica Pyramid, Coit Tower, row from Full House) to remind you, whether relevant to the plot or not.

    The characters are always surprised to see one another, even if they've been in the same house together for some time. "O HAI, [character name]" is repeated about 50 times during the movie.

    The director is obviously not a native-born American, so his interpretations of American culture are a bit odd: "playing football" consists of standing a few feet apart and awkwardly shoving a ball around like a bunch of giggling oafs cavorting through an Alpine meadow in springtime.

    Room d├ęcor includes framed cutlery.

    Odd plot lines are casually introduced then abruptly abandoned. One character's mother nonchalantly announces out of the blue that she has cancer, and (SPOILER, as if it matters) it's never brought up again. The weird man-child neighbor Denny's drug dealer (customer?) suddenly shows up and points a gun to his head.

    But anyway, the movie best speaks for itself. Here are a couple of my favorite scenes. They sum up the ethos of this steaming pile of crap quite eloquently:





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