Finding the theater packed with hipster millennials was my first hint that something was about to go terribly wrong. The fact that many of them seemed to know each other was an ominous sign. Then a clip of Tommy Wiseau doing a semi-coherent live question and answer session in front of a theater packed with adoring fans appeared on screen. Then a mashup video of what turned out to be some of the stupidest dialogue in the movie started playing, and the audience sang along. And then someone started passing out plastic spoons. I knew The Room had achieved something of a cult status, but nothing had prepared me for a theater full of millennials making a pathetically lame attempt to recreate The Rocky Horror Picture Show. More on that later.
The Room was released in 2003, and the numerous criticisms published since then vastly understate the magnitude of its awfulness. The basic idea is that Johnny (Tommy Wiseau) is a successful banker engaged to Lisa (Juliette Danielle). Depending on which section of dialogue you’re listening to, they’ve been together for 5 or 7 years. And no, 2 years do not pass over the course of the film. Lisa has inexplicably gotten bored with Johnny and decides to cheat on him with Mark (Greg Sestero). Mark is Johnny’s best friend. We know this because Johnny, Lisa, and Mark explicitly state this dozens of times. Johnny finds out multiple times and eventually decides to freak out about it.