I remember being in college, where I took a film class as part of my required communication elective. As much as I loved this class, I had an overwhelming amount of movies to watch that my professor thought were masterpieces. It was for the most part a great learning experience, but I need an ounce of stupid in my life. Around this time, I was into Troll 2, a movie that I will definitely talk about another time, but after my film class I needed something new. I read online about this movie called The Room, which came out in 2003. I never hear of this movie before, but it was being called "The Citizen Kane of Bad Movies" (funny, that's one of the movies I had to watch in my film class). I found a copy of this, and what I saw changed me.
A movie about a successful man who's engaged to a pretty women who is fucking his best friend could have easily been a simple movie that would have been forgotten about in a few years. But the way this movie goes about this is just all wrong (in the right way). The movie stars, is written, produced, and directed by a single man, Tommy Wiseau. A man who, at the time was the worst actor, worst director, and worst writer I'd ever seen. How in the world did this man get the money to make this movie? I thought. SIX MILLION DOLLARS went into this movie—how, why, who? I've never seen more sex scenes (which I thought was a softcore porn when I first watched this), more scenes that go nowhere (like Lisa's mom's breast cancer), and characters who change their personality at a drop of a dime. I've never seen a drama like this before. I loved it!
This movie has been one of my favorite in so-bad-it's-good movies. It's a staple for those who love bad movies. So naturally when I found out that Greg Sestero ("Oh, hi Mark") was writing a book about the making of the movie called "The Disaster Artist." I got it faster than you can say, "YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA!" I recently decided to re-read and watch the movie alongside it before the movie based on the book comes out in December. If you have never seen the movie or read the book, I can not tell you enough to both read and watch the movie. These might have some spoilers, so you've been warned.
Sestero tells two different stories. The one tells the story of the behind the scenes about filming. Which, as you would have guessed, is a shit show. Crew members quit, actors get fired by Tommy last minute, Tommy keeps changing lines and scenes. Worst is, yes, Tommy is just as bad of an actor as you thought. He can't remember any of his lines and it takes hours just to film one scene (the famous "I did not hit her" scene took three hours to film). It's definitely not what you'd call a normal film shoot. The second story is about how Sestero met Wiseau in an acting class; both had dreams of being actors, became friends, and went through the heartbreak of when Sestero started getting calls while Wiseau wasn't.
These stories combined make for a fairy tale ending. Dreamers making their dreams come true in the most unconventional way. Whether it was done on purpose, you can debate about that, but here is how I see it. I love The Room because it's not a perfect movie. Watching movies in that film class which are considered perfect movies or excellent movies in Hollywood, we need imperfect. Yes, I know I sound weird saying that, but hear me out. I love hearing stories of how movies behind-the-scenes were disasters. Jaws is one of my favorite movies of all time, but what I love the most is the fact that the shark (named Bruce) kept breaking down, falling apart in the water, and in the end doesn't look like the most perfect-looking shark. Yet I love the movie more for it. The shark doesn't show until the end of movie, yet the suspense doesn't go away. You still feel the shark throughout the movie. They used what they lacked, and made it into a horror classic.
What makes The Room a classic is how imperfect it is. Yet, to Tommy Wiseau, he was seeking perfection through the whole production of the movie. The man had never made a film in his life, yet he had this idea of what perfect filmmaking was. This movie is the most mistake-filled movie I've ever seen. However, this movie makes me so happy every time I hear a line from it. Why. Because it feels like a real movie. A person's passion, his dream, is all on screen. He wanted this dream of his to come true so badly that he put his money into it. Yes, I will probably never see six million dollars in my life time, but I'm sure if I had an attitude like Wiseau, I can make anything happen. In the book, I learned how Wiseau wanted this dream of being an actor like James Dean to come true, so when Hollywood didn't give him a chance, he decided to take the bull by the horns and do it himself. I never heard a person have so much fearlessness, so much passion, yet sometimes was so out of touch with reality. But he did everything in his power for this long dream of his to come true. Did it turn out the way he wanted it to? Probably not, but next time you're at work, say the line "I did not hit her, it's not true, it's bullshit I did not hit her, I did not." See how many people reply with an, "Oh, hi Mark!" He made an impact on pop culture because he wasn't perfect, which makes him human. We need to see the human imperfection more often.