The Room

The Room ½

There was a documentary aired on British TV a couple of years ago about the late great comedian Les Dawson that I was reminded of by The Room.

One of the key features of Dawson's act was that, for comedy effect, he would play the piano deliberately badly. Not just by hitting keys randomly - the tune was correct, but the tone was all wrong. Here's a sample.

In that documentary, it was claimed by one of the talking heads that playing the piano deliberately badly that adeptly was far more difficult to do than to actually play the tunes properly, and they then went on to claim that Dawson was a genius for being able to master it. It's difficult to disagree - I thought Dawson was a wonderful comedian. I can't confirm if the point made about his piano playing is accurate, but I could see how it would make sense.

The reason Dawson was brought to mind was because it has been claimed in some quarters that The Room is a work of deliberate ineptitude on the part of its creator Tommy Wiseau and therefore proof of his genius. I'm not sure if such claims are ever all that serious but if any of them are then I am here to disagree vehemently. The Room is the work of someone who is just so terribly ill-equipped at making a film of anything approaching acceptable quality that it is simply unbelievable that anyone could be so lacking in self-awareness of the horror they are creating.

I've never got on with films that are 'so bad they're good'. Occasional ones, such as Showgirls and Maximum Overdrive, win me over but on the whole I find stuff like Plan 9 From Outer Space and other films often cited as the 'best worst' films of all time to be really boring. After a few minutes of being amazed by Wiseau and crew and the fact that everything is wrong with this film, the novelty wore off really quickly.

I can see why it's become a cult classic and all that but I really wish that I hadn't watched it because the recent growing realisation that I might be developing very quickly into the miserable old git of Letterboxd and that I am starting to become rather akin to Mr Heckles from Friends was only strengthened by watching this.

I'll go and buy a snake, then.

🇵🇱 Steve G liked this review