The granddaddy of box office turkeys, The Room, is turning 13 this year and to celebrate, the RIO Theatre is hosting a live script reading of the film’s hilariously awful first draft.
It’s been called “the Citizen Kane of bad movies”, but even that’s too kind. The Room is more like Showgirls, minus the everything. Released to a handful of theatres in 2003, the movie was immediately decimated by critics, and for good reason: The Room is loaded with continuity errors, an awful score, and dialogue like “This is a beautiful party and you invited all of my friends, good thinking!” delivered with total sincerity.
It’s a mess.
The film revolves around Johnny, an affable San Francisco banker with a penchant for spoons, surprise parties, and sexy red dresses. Johnny is played by Tommy Wiseau, who also directed, wrote, and produced the film with money he says he made by importing and selling leather jackets from Korea. The shocking part isn’t that Wiseau allegedly made $6,000,000 selling coats – it’s that The Room actually cost $6,000,000 to make.
But somehow, over the course of the last decade, Wiseau’s investment has paid off handsomely as The Room has become a cult classic. Fans pack screenings dressed as the movie’s characters (tuxedos and red dresses are a must) and many come armed with footballs and spoons for the audience participation portion of the film.
The rest of the cast is pretty much a “Who’s who?” of “Who cares?” but to be fair, it’s hard to imagine an A-lister agreeing to play a character called “Sad Loser” like poor Dikran Ornekian did. Juliette Danielle, best known for her roles in ChickleBerry Jam and Ghost Shark 2: Urban Jaws, plays Johnny’s girlfriend Lisa who may or may not be having an affair with Johnny’s best friend (spoiler alert: she is). Danielle’s performance is one of the highlights of the film – she’s a terrible actress but knows how to serve up a wicked combination of side-eye and side-boob.
Actor Greg Sestero plays Johnny’s double-crossing best friend Mark, and we know the two characters are best friends as it’s mentioned in the film seven times. Sestero wrote a book detailing his crazy experiences with Wiseau called The Disaster Artist which is being made into a movie of its own starring James Franco and Seth Rogen.
The book is filled with juicy bits from the set of The Room, including the time Wiseau insisted that he appear nude onscreen by saying “I have to show my ass or this movie won’t sell.” Sestero will be in attendance at the RIO on Friday night to answer questions about his book and will participate in a live reading of The Room‘s original script with volunteers from the audience.
And if that’s not enough to convince you to attend, an abandoned subplot in Wiseau’s original screenplay revealed that Johnny was actually a vampire with a flying Mercedes Benz. The storyline was dropped due to budgetary concerns, which makes you wonder how many leather jackets one has to sell to pay for a flying car.
A few tickets for the live script reading of The Room are available for purchase here.