The Room (2003) Movie Poster Image

The Room (2003)

Cult-phenom amateur melodrama best left to adults.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 99 minutes

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.

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

Unlike most Ed Wood-esque movies, THE ROOM isn't a creature feature or backyard filmmakers trying to be Quentin Tarentino; it's sincerely attempting Great Drama. 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.

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.

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/Streaming 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

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Kid, 12 years old November 19, 2010

I did not hit her! I did not! Ok, she said my movie was awful and I may have gotten mad, but I DID NOT HIT HER...

What's to say about this? Tommy Wiseau is the producer, director, writer, and actor. Can you see what's coming? Yes, I think you do. This man did way too much! Mabye this is why acting was so bad! I have to say, this movie was too repetitive, to morbid, and too... Ugh! Just too ugh.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written bylisa.beth.rose June 29, 2011

If you don't like this you're a chicken, cheep,cheep,cheep!

Oh hai everyone, I have a thing or two to say about the movie 'The Room'. Firstly, this movie is awesome. Because It's so bad It's actually good. This movie is so popular fore being terrible they actually have screenings which I loved and would probably go to again. The actors especially the guy who played 'Mark' (Oh hai Mark) were very nice in person. So sit back, throw spoons and have fun! But remember you can laugh you can cry you can express yourself BUT PLEASE! ANd I stress, do not hurt each other. Okay that'll be 18 dollars oh hai doggie bye!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bydanishv August 15, 2015

Life changing

The best thing that has ever been on the big screen.