The Room (2003)

  • Review Date: August 31, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Cult-phenom amateur melodrama best left to adults.
  • Review Date: August 31, 2009
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

Age(i)

2
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5
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8
9
10
11
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14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie obviously disapproves of Lisa's cheating on Johnny; most troubling is Johnny's fatal reaction to it. The message, if any, is that poor Johnny deserves better.

Positive role models

Johnny is described as kind, hardworking, enlightened, financially successful -- practically a perfect package (except for a weakness for alcohol when things don't go well). Yet betrayal still brings his life crashing down in the end (though bad acting does it from the beginning).

Violence

A fistfight. A climactic suicide via gun that shows spilled blood.

Sex

Some bare breasts and buns in lyrical, soft-focus sex scenes "enhance" the infidelity subplot.

Language

The f-word and s-word in emotional moments.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Social drinking and a bad bout of drunkenness on behalf of one character. Talk of illegal drugs.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this notorious midnight-movie sensation, though not gory or pornographic like some other "cult" pictures, has extramarital sex scenes showing plenty of bare skin. Characters swear and get drunk under extreme duress. Sexual infidelity is key to the story, and the plot, if it can be taken seriously, ends with a blameless character committing suicide, essentially "getting even" with people whose treacheries hurt him.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

As with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, moviegoers with weird tastes flocked to this cheap, no-name, downbeat drama and made it an audience-participation experience, jamming on the bad dialogue, arbitrary scene changes, and what-were-they-thinking? production values. THE ROOM tells of San Francisco banking executive Johnny (Tommy Wiseau, who also wrote, directed, produced, etc.) engaged to marry live-in fiancee Lisa. Everyone thinks Johnny is a great guy, but two-faced Lisa cheats on him with Mark, Johnny's best friend. Even Lisa and Mark scold each other: "How could you do this? Johnny is my/your best friend!" That one's recited repeatedly, almost ritualistically. Meanwhile, Johnny mentors a teen in trouble with a drug dealer. Johnny chases the dealer away, but unfortunately that leaves the criminal's gun in Johnny's hands -- fatefully at the time he finally realizes how the love of his life (and his best friend, don't forget) have betrayed him.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

By now every movie fan knows -- and many love -- Ed Wood, the bizarre actor-writer-director who, in his 1950s heyday, concocted inept little horror films, crime dramas, and exploitation movies that later audiences found hilarious because they were so awful. THE ROOM had many "admirers'" calling it a modern Ed Wood flick -- the mystifying way actors clumsily enter and exit, laughable love songs during bedroom scenes, the self-cast star Tommy Wiseau, with his odd foreign accent and Conan the Barbarian hairstyle.

Unlike most Ed Wood-esque movies, though, THE ROOM isn't a creature feature or backyard filmmakers trying to be Quentin Tarentino. It's sincerely attempting Great Drama, and younger viewers might just get bored with The Room and its talky psychodynamics and wonder what the appeal is. Certainly while watched at home, and not in a raucous movie-theater audience (where avid Room-mates would dress up like the characters and throw plastic forks), the saga of relationships/acting gone wrong just isn't as fun.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of this movie despite the bad dialogue and poor production values. What makes it so popular? Why are some movies known for being "audience participation films"?

  • Talk about "cult" movies in general -- you'll find lots of books in the library on the subject. Many films (not necessarily horrible ones) like Harold and Maude and even Disney's Fantasia weren't initially popular, and even got rejected by critics and viewers, only to be later crowned way-cool. Do you have any cherished favorites that the rest of the world hasn't appreciated yet?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:June 27, 2003
DVD release date:December 17, 2005
Cast:Tommy Wiseau
Director:Tommy Wiseau
Studio:Wiseau-Film
Genre:Drama
Run time:99 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:sexuality, language and brief violence

This review of The Room (2003) was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Educator Written bysimpleseth July 20, 2013
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

Badly Enjoyable (Spoiler Free)

You know an indie film is bad when you're laughing at the actors, as opposed to laughing with them. This movie is a joke and Tommy Wiseau should be ashamed of himself for the poor effort it took to make his blurred vision come true. Horrible pacing, lame acting, low-concept story, an abundance of plot holes, and an absolutely PATHETIC cop-out ending. If you're considering watching it, view this dreadful piece of fecal matter at your own risk, while preparing for occasional laughter.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written bySomeoneYouDon'tKnow February 8, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

Not as bad (or laughable) as I expected

Who hasn't heard of "The Room"? This was such a highly rated unintentional comedy that I just had to see it. Luckily, I caught it for free on YouTube (just a couple days before it was taken down by Wiseau Films) and I expected it to be a side-splittingly hilarious wreck of a movie. But, surprisingly, it was not. In fact, I didn't mind it all that much. The film does have lots of problems: Tommy Wiseau (Johnny) and Philip Haldiman (Denny) gave laughable performances, the script/dialogue was stiff, redundant, and repetitive, and there were many plot points that didn't add up. But, overall, I somewhat enjoyed the movie. The romance story was fairly well-handled, with some genuinely dramatic moments that actually made me feel kind of sorry for Johnny. Apart from Wiseau and Haldiman, most of the performances were fairly decent, and the actors did a surprisingly good job working with the bad script. The cinematography was also nice, with tasteful décor, good color palettes, and some good shots of San Francisco. The musical score was very good, featuring creative piano songs that are very catchy, even for a metalhead like me. In the end, this is kind of a weird movie, with a bad script, lots of plotholes, and too much story, but it has some decent performances, an intriguing love triangle story, sympathetic characters, a good musical score, and nice cinematography. It's not for everyone, but it's not all that bad.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byOfficial Critic December 23, 2012
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

The Room Review

The Room marks the writing-directing-acting debut of Tommy Wiseau, who's not just one of the most unusual looking and sounding leading men ever to lead the screen. Crap script, crap story, crap acting. Don't even bother.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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