My Generation’s Answer to Citizen Kane

Oh, hi Unwind readers.

So, I’m doing something even more different this week:  I’m not going to talk about books at all.  As you (probably don’t) know, last week I ranted about my generation’s lack of affinity for reading.  This week, I’d like to present a cautionary tale regarding what happens when people who are practically illiterate try to create meaningful art.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:  The Room, a film released in 2003 by director/producer/writer/actor Tommy Wiseau.  Wiseau is a man of indeterminate European origin (my initial guess was that he was Hungarian, but it’s really impossible to know).  Even though the film is now officially considered a black comedy, it’s pretty evident that Wiseau meant for this to be a serious drama based on the interviews I’ve seen with the man.

The plot of the film is essentially this:

Johnny (played by Wiseau) is happily engaged to Lisa, a woman who is excessively cruel to him with seemingly no motive whatsoever.  She begins sleeping with Johnny’s best friend, Mark–again, for apparently no reason.  There are four hilarious sex scenes in the first 30 minutes of the film alone, most of which are what looks like a dimly lit Wiseau thrusting his nude body against a pile of blankets.  Lisa accuses Johnny of abusing her, again for no reason, leading to one of the greatest scenes in cinematic history:

This delightful back and forth really showcases the depth of Johnny and Mark’s friendship.

Johnny finally confronts Lisa and Mark, but they’re defiant and antagonistic (again, without motive), leading to a tragic ending “with the passion of Tennessee Williams,” as the movie’s tagline states without a drop of irony.

As the film progresses, it becomes evident that director/producer/writer/actor/god among men Tommy Wiseau’s grasp of the English language is less than spectacular.  What’s more evident, however, is the fact that he was apparently insistent that the other actors (all Americans) recite his poorly written lines verbatim from the script.

Here’s one of my favorite examples of this.

“Leave your stupid comments in your pocket.”  What the hell does that even mean?  Perhaps it’s some untranslatable Hungarian idiom that Wiseau attempted to translate anyway, sensibility be damned.

Anyway, this is probably the funniest movie I’ve ever come across.  I can’t effectively explain this–you just have to see it.  Do yourself a favor and rent The Room, gather some friends together and prepare to have your lives changed forever.

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