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Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011 09:49 am

Isn't it Room-antic?


In the market for a movie date this coming Valentine’s Day but want to avoid the usual RomCom clichés? Affairs of the heart have rarely been so absurdly and ineptly dramatized as they are in The Room, a notorious and unintentionally hilarious cult film oft -reputed to be the Citizen Kane of bad movies, which is starting at Champaign's Art Theater on Friday, February 11.

Director-writer-star-producer-executive producer (yes, he's a quintuple-threat) Tommy Wiseau spent millions of his own money to bring his vision to the screen, and no amount of description --or warning -- can adequately prepare the viewer for the noxious masterpiece of cluelessness that is The Room. The plot, such as it is, is sub-soap opera fodder: Johnny (Wiseau, simultaneously sleepwalking and overacting) is engaged to Lisa (the repugnant Juliette Danielle); she is having an affair with Mark (Greg Sestero, apparently carved from balsawood); oh yeah, Mark just happens to be Johnny's best friend. That's pretty much the extent of the story. But the myriad ways the filmmakers manage to botch this simplest and most well-trodden of narratives is mindboggling. The film's 99 minutes consist of a seemingly endless parade of unnecessary subplots, stilted dialogue, gratuitous sex scenes and even-more-gratuituous impromptu football games.

But unlike most purely bad films, The Room never fails to entertain -- a fact which might even call into question its bad film status. Wiseau's flailing, desperate attempts at drama and pathos are so sincerely and passionately misguided that at times the viewer almost begins to root for him to get something right (spoiler: he doesn't). Over the years since its initial release, screenings of The Room have become wild, noisy, interactive events a-la Rocky Horror Picture Show, including call-and-response routines with the screen, pickup football games in the aisles and, inexplicably enough, torrential storms of plastic spoons.

So grab your sweetheart and check in to The Room this Valentine’s Day. You could do worse than basking in Tommy Wiseau’s romantic and cinematic failures: rest assured that whatever problems you might be working through, it probably will never get this bad.

Here's the trailer:

For Directions and showtimes visit http://www.thecuart.com/

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