You may have heard of, if you haven’t already seen, the stupefyingly terrible film The Room. The film is so bafflingly inept and nonsensical that you’re hardly surprised to learn that writer, director, and star Tommy Wiseau had never made a film before; indeed, you might find yourself wondering if he’d ever even seen a film before.
The Room (released, barely, in 2003 and available on DVD) is a mawkishly melodramatic, and deadly serious, drama about a man betrayed by his fiancee, which Wiseau has been trying to market as a quirky comedy because no one can watch the film without laughing at his hero’s travails. Rent The Room if you want to stare dumbfounded at your TV for an hour and a half some night. Seriously, rent it.
Seeing it for myself the first time not long ago, I was struck by the manosphere-style misogyny that pervades almost every frame of the movie. It’s not an MRA film, and Wiseau is no MRA, but somehow he manages to encapsulate every terrible stereotype about men and women that most MRAs seem to believe.
The film tells the sad story of Johnny (played by Wiseau), a good-hearted, long-haired banker with an unclassifiable accent who is betrayed at work (he doesn’t get his expected promotion) and, more importantly, by his “future wife” Lisa, who blithely cheats on him with his best friend.
Lisa is portrayed like the evil bitch villain in nearly every MRA urban legend: she’s a self-absorbed twit who, in addition to cheating on Johnny, falsely accuses him of domestic violence and fakes a pregnancy just to fuck with him.
Johnny, meanwhile, is supposed to be seen as a loyal, helpful, compassionate man who cares deeply about his friends and treats his adored “future wife” Lisa like the princess he tells her she is.
I say “supposed to” because Johnny is hardly the great guy Wiseau thinks he is. For one thing, everything he does and says is bit … off, as if his body has been taken over by a space alien who’s learned everything he knows about women (and human interaction in general) by reading comments on Reddit and watching Christopher Walken as “The Continental” on Saturday Night Live without getting the joke.
For another, he’s a rage-filled narcissist with a bad case of “nice guy” entitlement and absolutely no self-awareness. When his friend Mark tells him about a woman beaten so badly she ends up in the hospital, he responds with a hearty laugh. (“What a story, Mark!”) And when he confronts Lisa about her false accusations of domestic violence (“You are lying! I never hit you!”), he angrily shoves her down onto a couch. It doesn’t seem to occur to Johnny (or to Wiseau) that this too is a form of domestic violence.
When, after learning of Lisa’s betrayal, he trashes their apartment and [SPOILER ALERT] kills himself with a conveniently located pistol, Wiseau presents it as the ultimate comeuppance to the cruel Lisa.
While you have to see the whole film to truly appreciate its epic badness, the following clips will give you some idea of what I’ve been talking about.
First, the trailer, which tries its best to cover up the film’s true weirdness:
The infamous “roof scene” in which Johnny tells Mark (the guy Lisa is sleeping with) about Lisa’s accusations of domestic violence:
A compilation of some of Johnny’s best (i.e. worst) moments:
This one (ignore the misleading title) gives you some idea of Lisa’s oblivious evilness:
Here’s Hitler reacting to the film. (Note: Not the real Hitler.)
And here, if you dare, is the whole damn movie in its entirely. (If you’re pressed for time, you may want to fast forward through the film’s five completely unerotic sex scenes, set to the worst slow jams ever recorded.)
EDITED TO ADD: Oh, and here’s the scene the gif above is from. Johnny is the most efficient flower buyer and pug-petter in the world.