Friends, lovers, pizza delivery folk, disturbed downstairs neighbors, the Asian woman hiding in my attic, the Mothman who seems to have set up shop in my garage, Future Bello and most importantly the Watertown coroner – I call you to attention.
I ask for your guidance, your patience, your time and your strength, and in the Asian woman’s case for you to please flush after you’re done in the bathroom while I’m out of the apartment during the day. Let’s at least please maintain the illusion of your parasitism.
I ask these things because this weekend I will be hosting a viewing* of The Room, and if any of the reviews that I’ve encountered of this production are even partially accurate, I will need each and every one of them before the day is done.
If you know me and you’re reading this, you may think to yourself, “He’s just going to get drunk, order pizza and watch a shitty movie with his friends while the Mothman spies through the window and a foreign vagabond sleeps in his attic!” and you, sir or madam, are entitled to that. You’re not entirely wrong either, at least not in a technical sense. But truly you’ve missed out on the big picture, like ‘famous’ rapper B.o.B contesting that the Earth is flat, or an ant drone unaware of the existence of colonies other than her own. The Universe exists in a simultaneous myriad of colors and states, and like it or not, The Room is just another beautiful part of it that I’m going to explore.
I imagine the journey into The Room to be not a clumsy evaluation of a flawless cinematic and artistic failure, but rather as a sojourn into the self. If you don’t understand; if these words – and more importantly this concept – impress no value upon you whatsoever, then by all means turn back. At best, you’ll learn nothing from this post; at worst you’ll hurt your little mind. Carry on heeding the commands of your Queen back in the lonely anthill of your world as you complete your sentence of perpetual, servitudinal existence on this flat and meaningless Earth.
But there’s more to life, isn’t there? It’s out there waiting. Don’t you want to seek it?
Was Starship Troopers just a movie about killing giant bugs? Or would you define it by that one pretty sweet shower scene? Was it created and enjoyed for the purpose watching some really intense, impressive and graphically violent scenes? You could say “Yes” and once more you could be correct, at least technically. But what you’d be leaving out is the loads of political and social commentary that were prominently displayed in virtually every scene. And until my consciousness is processed, recorded by The Federation, edited for content and streamed “All Net, All Channels”, I will do my best to relay my unfiltered opinions to you, the people, right here on BelloBitesBack.
In watching The Room I take a trip not just into myself, but into those who choose to accompany me on this venture as well. And as such things go, so too do they journey into me. Metaphorically, I mean. Put that away.
We companions will bond in a rare way as together, we explore such concepts as the very meaning of what it is to be terrible.
For example, if seeing this movie makes the artery in my neck throb due to excessive frustration, is that what makes it terrible? Or is the more terrible part the fact that it exists in the first place? Or is this an example of some perverted cosmic humor? Is God laughing at The Room?
What even is ‘funny’ anyway? Is it more funny that Director/Writer/Star Tommy Wiseau clearly suffers from one or many undiagnosed mental disorder(s)? Or will my predicted outburst of laughter at the internet infamous line “You are tearing me apart, Lisa!” drown out the protests of my moral quandary?
And wherein lies the true essence of failure? Is this movie a ‘failure’? This, the weird fruit of Tommy’s jilted artistic vision (barely avoiding a cheap joke about his equally weird eyes, whoops, I just failed a little too!), or is it something more personal? Following this thought process I find myself asking: Are those shitty paintings that orangutans create to be counted as ‘failures’ as well? Motherfuckers barely even have thumbs! It’s amazing to me that they’ve figured out what a painting is in the first place, which is why whatever they produce is so impressive regardless of what a piece of shit it ends up looking like. To what standard are we measuring poor Tommy against, I ask? Where we expecting the next Inception? Can a person who pursues his own vision so unapologetically and fails in such a spectacular fashion truly be said to have ‘failed’? I mean, he followed the hell out of his vision didn’t he? That’s more than tons of people do! So what, yeah, maybe writing, directing, acting, acting normal, maintaining random snippets of logic or even maintaining even one unbroken line of coherent thought in a 99 minute story just happen to not be the areas where Mr. Wiseau excels. Excuse me, Picasso! How quick we are to judge! If you call a fish a failure for its inability to climb a tree…I dunno Chuck, but maybe you’re the failure.
Then again, this is said to have been the worst movie of all time. How will we react?
Though I have a good idea of how the gathering will go, I can’t foresee all the possible moral mutations we might stumble through in our quest for Truth. But I can guess!
Is attacking the concept of what art should be a crime? Should it be? What are the limits of my liquor consumption? When does the pizza arrive? How much abuse can be simultaneously shoveled onto all angles of my soul before it collapses under the black weight of hopelessness? How can I take from Tommy that which I expect his movie to take from me? What’s wrong with me? How did I get this way?
Is this what that bastard wanted all along?
Maybe The Room isn’t about delving through an artistic abomination in the hopes of finding a sliver of humor. Maybe it’s not even about getting some of my closest friends in one place so that we can set our differences aside for 99 minutes and point and laugh at the same thing. Perhaps The Room was set up in such a fashion so as to inspire the viewer to seek their own definition of its existence and purpose. Just as to some, Starship Troopers is merely a movie with pretty good boobs and some awesome battles, to me it is a political and social commentary that happens to be in movie form, which also happens to incorporate pretty good boobs and some awesome battles. If I’m right, well then, I guess we all have our own ‘Rooms’ to explore and define don’t we? And what does this say about My Room?
Mine is achieving the goal of a shared experience of self exploration, (the mental, PG kind), and it is a noble, if lofty goal. Yes of course, we’ll drink. Yes we (or at least I) will mock Tommy for his physical, mental and artistic shortcomings. And yes, yes, FOR THE LAST TIME YES, I promise I’ll never subject any of you to this movie ever, ever again.
But through the mental anguish and incredulity, through the blurred vision, past the possible fistfights which will ensue when I refuse to change the channel and notwithstanding the banging on my floor from an irate downstairs neighbor, (just kidding, she’s nice), we comrades will have found something valuable and true in ourselves – and in one another. In each of us exploring and defining our own Rooms, we will have found something eternal.
I doubt anyone’s ever said this, but Tommy, for “The Room“…I thank you.
*Follow Up to the viewing of The Room to be posted shortly.