The Hidden Meaning in The Room – Earthling Cinema
What if an alien in the future stumbled upon Tommy Wiseau’s The Room? Welcome to Earthling Cinema, where we examine the last remaining artifacts of a once-proud culture and try to understand what human lives were like before their planet was destroyed. I’m your host, Garyx Wormuloid.
This week’s film:
The Room (2003)
Stars: Tommy Wiseau, Juliette Danielle, Greg Sestero, Philip Haldiman, Carolyn Minnott
Director: Tommy Wiseau
Production Co: Wiseau-Films
Written by: AJ Unitas and Kevin Winzer
Directed by: Jared Bauer
Analysis by: Kevin Winzer
Starring: Mark Schroeder (https://twitter.com/mark_schroeder)
Edited by: Ryan Hailey (http://www.ryanhaileydotcom.com/)
Original Music by: David Krystal (http://www.davidkrystalmusic.com)
Opening Animation by: Danny Rapaport
Produced by: Jacob S. Salamon and Emily Dunbar
Hidden Meaning in The Room – Earthling Cinema
Greetings, and welcome to Earthling Cinema. I am your host, Garyx Wormuloid. This week’s artifact is The Room, written, directed, and starring my time traveling godson, Tommy Wiseau.
The film follows human banker Johnny, who despite everything about him, is taken seriously by his friends. He lives with the apple of his eyeball, Lisa, and they are madly in love for two scenes. Tired of Johnny’s esophagus disorder, Lisa cheats on him with his bff, Mark. Last name unknown.
In fact, Lisa’s so done with Johnny’s smoking hot bod she gets him drunk to frame him for domestic abuse, the most homely of all abuses. Johnny naturally denies this to no one in particular, and makes his home phone wear a wire.
At an evacuation from the womb party, Mark and Lisa are caught swapping DNA orally. To save their relationship, Johnny announces that Lisa is more pregnant than a dramatic pause. You love it. Lisa, of course denies this, Johnny imitates a horse, and Mark attacks him before he can lay an egg.
Heartbroken, Johnny locks himself in an indoor porta-potty. The phone rats on Lisa and they agree to a bitter break up. Completely done with Earth females, Johnny sucks a glock.
The Room is a tale of duplicity and the follies of love and trust, two things I know little about. The film takes many cues from classic dramas such as Rebel Wilson Without a Cause and A Streetcar Named Desire Part One. The latter of which, provided thematic inspiration for The Room, which Wiseau acknowledges with a lil’ wink in the cold open. Streetcar concerns Blanche Du-byeeeee, a formerly wealthy female who tries to hide her past, but winds up in Arkham Asylum when her fantasy world crumbles.
Just like Blanche, the characters in The Room live duplicitously, often under the influence of C-2-H-6-O. Lisa pretends to be a devoted lover, but in reality, is only using Johnny for his sweet bitcoin. Mark pretends to be a loyal friend, when he’s actually in bed with Lisa. f**king. And Johnny thinks Lisa is actually his daughter. Suggesting the soullessness that comes with living a lie, almost all the characters deliver their performances in a robotic fashion–that is to say with a battery up their butts. The film accentuates this effect by juxtaposing these lifeless characters with the visceral energy of Chris R. Kelly. Although he’s a criminal, he’s the only character who is honest about who he is, and therefore he’s the only one who appears high on life and crack.
Just as in Streetcar, The Room centers around a domestic location – Johnny’s apartment, the titular “Tommy Wiseau’s The Room.” By concentrating the action on the home, the film focuses on the relationships that form the sort-of conflict.
The Room takes a skeptical view of these interpersonal intra-human connections. Johnny appears to have a ton of friends on Facebook, but in actuality they’re just liking his statues out of boredom. The visual motif of a footsphere encapsulates the film’s pessimistic view of friendship. Although intended for camaraderie, it causes injury to two characters. The message is clear: friendship can hurt and mostly happens in alleyways.
Similarly, early in the film, the color red symbolizes love and sex in the city, in everything from Lisa’s red dress, to these red candles, to the roses in the bedroom, to this ball gag. At the end of the film however, when Johnny rips up the red dress, shoots himself, and dies in an ocean of blood, also known as doing a Johnny, the colors meaning is transformed to reflect the eventual outcome of some relationships and all of humanity.
In its emotional climax and regular climax, the film breaks the fourth wall when Denny uses Wiseau’s real first name. Brilliantly turning the camera on the audience, forcing us to question whether we too are deluding ourselves. I mean, this film won an Oscar. Right? Didn’t it? I mean, Crash did.
For Earthling Cinema, I’m Garyx Wormuloid. Baiii.