If you’re like us, The Room—a movie many critics have called “the worst film ever made”—probably just came across your radar because James Franco is starring in a hilarious spoof of it, The Disaster Artist, which premiered at SXSW in March. The film—to be released on December 8—pokes major fun at the making of the 2003 original, with Seth Rogen playing scriptwriter Sandy Scholar and Franco playing Tommy Wiseau, an American filmmaker and notoriously bad actor who produced and starred in The Room. Because if there’s one thing better than being paid to be a good actor it’s being paid to be a bad actor, amiright?
The original film has become a cult classic, rife with ridiculous one-liners and hilariously unbelievable twists. The plot hinges on a cringe-worthy love triangle involving a banker named Johnny, his friend Mark, and Johnny’s fiancée Lisa, who’s sleeping with both of them. Awks. It’s so bad, it’s good.
— TheRoomMovie (@TheRoomMovie) July 18, 2017
If you’ve never heard of The Room, here’s some things you should know before watching the spoof.
Obviously, Franco is absolutely perfect for this spoof remake
He’s without a doubt a master of satire (have you seen The Interview?), so this job was surely easy for him. The Room already seems like it’s a spoof of itself. Take a peek at a teaser trailer of The Disaster Artist.
And the trailer for the original is, in a word, breathtaking
So many rooms, so many dramas.
You’ll never find out what room is the room, so stop wondering
There are many rooms and locations featured in the film, none of which are ever revealed as the designated room, as referenced in the title of the film. We’d like to think this accurately sums up the ridiculousness of the entire movie itself. It does make for hilarious conversation with fellow movie-goers, though. Which room is the room, guys? WE NEED TO KNOW. *Throws TV out of window in frustration*
The Room had an oddly high budget but made A LOT less when it premiered
For a film that looks like it was shot on a Nokia cell phone circa 2000, it somehow had a budget of $6 million. Where’d that $6 mill go, though? Unfortunately, it only grossed $12,450 in its opening weekend. Yikes.
The original advertising for this film is probably even weirder than the film itself
Okay, take a look at this. *Blink* That very creepy, Snape-esque face staring back at you is Wiseau. This billboard remained in Hollywood for five years. Wiseau reportedly paid around $300,000 OF HIS OWN MONEY for this… thing.
Screenings of The Room are interactive and encourage audience participation (how FUN!)
Have you ever been to a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show? If so, you know how much fun they are. The audience is encouraged to throw popcorn and rice at the screen at times and hold newspaper over their heads during stormy scenes. The Room is no different and has quite a few rules for audience participation, as well. For example, the film is notorious for going in and out of focus, and during these moments you’re encouraged to yell, “Damn you, Todd Barron!” He was the director of photography. Check out this official list of rules for your next (or first) The Room experience, and take a look at how a Toronto audience reacted to a screening of the film in 2010.
According to Wiseau, The Room effectively eliminated crime in America
Yep, according to Wiseau, watching The Room inspired young people to not commit crimes. In an interview with Wiseau for Gawker, he said: “Screening The Room [at] midnight eliminated crime in America. Look at how many young people—you been young, I mean we still young, whatever—go in the street, you know, walking on the street, nothing to do, go see The Room, have fun. Let’s assume you don’t see The Room, you don’t have The Room, you walk on the street, grab the rock, and by accident you hit somebody, you know? Accident happen, get ’em arrested, go to jail, whatever. Instead, you see The Room. So high probability crime, high probability…you know what I’m saying?”
If you’re willing to look deeper into The Room, you just might see its educational qualities
According to Ross Morin, an assistant professor of film studies at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, The Room “is one of the most important films of the past decade,” he says. “It exposes the fabricated nature of Hollywood. The Room is the Citizen Kane of bad movies.” The film is so outrageously bad that we’re inclined to side with Morin in thinking it was all intentional. Maybe there’s the bigger message here? You tell us. To get the full educational effect, you might need to see it twice, according to Wiseau.