The Room 2003 ★★½

It's a bit difficult to quantify a film like The Room in a review with a star rating. On one hand, the film is very obviously bad, poorly edited, and starring a man whose appearance and demeanor are less of a man than a being made up of dry, unpleasant taffy. On the other hand, these qualities are the only reason the movie gets any recognition these days. It's one thing to make a bad film, but quite another to make an infamous one. There's something imminently compelling, I think, about a picture that manages to be a spectacular failure in spite of how much effort this one man put into it. Love was clearly poured into the production, but it is clumsy love, as if a man had given a camera to a child (or, again, a confused taffy golem) and instructed him to "go nuts."

There is also the matter of its status as a cult phenomenon. In the same way the Rocky Horror Picture show improves when viewed with a group, (though I can only assume it does, since I have never seen it "live." my home viewing, however, left me less than impressed. I'm a fan of the music, and of the first half hour or so, but the film really begins to drag after Meat Loaf is killed) The Room becomes far more than just the sum of its parts. I have seen the film twice. Once at home, and once in a midnight showing at one of the many fine Landmark Theatres in my area. The latter is undoubtedly the best way to see the movie, where the event overtakes the picture as the main attraction. Would it be fair, then, to judge the film not on the quality of the movie itself, but on the quality of the events and feelings created because of it? That's up to you, I guess. Go see it in theatres. You'll have fun, "good" movie or no.

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