It's a rich cultural narrative. Movies so bad they're good.
R. Kelly's Trapped in the Closet. John Waters' Polyester. Snakes on a Plane with Samuel L. Jackson.
Add to the ranks The Room, a movie that's such a hardcore, flaming explosion of a train wreck, it's impossible to look away. It stars Tommy Wiseau, an acting gem with inky Fabio locks and the accent of Arnold Schwarzenegger dipped in motor oil. Wiseau also directed, produced and wrote the 2003 independent movie, and his face is plastered on the poster like Christopher Walken after the nuclear holocaust (narcissism much?).
The Room is about a love triangle, but if we're being honest, the plot doesn't matter. The Room has reached Rocky Horror Picture Show cult status thanks to its nonsensical awesomeness, and it's popping up in theatres around the country. Throngs of devoted fans come dressed like the characters, reciting lines and throwing spoons at the screen, an ode to weird cutlery art hanging on set.
Sunday, you can witness it at American Stage in St. Petersburg. And if you've never seen The Room, here's a primer.
Guy talk and girl talk
Gender roles are out in 1950s glory. When Lisa, played by mahogany-stiff Juliette Danielle, accuses her boyfriend of abuse, her best friend shrugs it off in favor of gossip about Lisa's sexy love affair. In another scene, Lisa's mom encourages her to stay in a loveless relationship so she doesn't have to get a job. But the best display of manufactured machismo happens when Johnny and his buddies discuss barbecue chicken and toss the ol' pigskin while wearing tuxedos.
Boobs and butt
At first, you might think you accidentally stumbled into a theater where men in trench coats sit in tiny booths. Fear not. You are in the right place. The Room has too many softcore booty scenes to count, chock full of cliche romantic devices like rose petals, candelabras, white sheers and awkward shots of rear-ends. Get ready to see Wiseau's bottom in all its pasty glory! Like we said — narcissism.
Shakespeare, step aside! There is no topping The Room. Some examples:
• "XYZ … Examine your zipper."
• "Beautiful party! You invited all my friends! Good thinking!"
• "You don't understand anything, man. Leave your STUPID COMMENTS IN YOUR POCKET!"
Music for the ages
A soft jazz record plays in nearly every sex scene, wrinkly butts set to the tune of You Are My Rose. The song's lyrics? "You are my rose, you are my rose, you are my rose. You are my rose, you are my rose, you are my rose." The tune reappears abruptly during the end credits, after what can only be described as a satisfying finale. We won't give too much away, but we'll say this: Blood, brains and rose petals. How can you go wrong?