Do You Understand Life?
You might think you understand life, but until you witness Johhny Wiseau’s beautiful disaster The Room for yourself, I’m here to say you don’t understand shit. Witness.
In my last post, I made my intentions quite clear:
- A few friends and I would gather
- We would make merry
- We would watch The Room
- We would explore boundaries and definitions: What is funny? What is awful?
- Where does Tommy Wiseau ‘the director’ end and his character ‘Johnny’ begin?
- Lastly, why did nobody fucking try to stop me when I made these intentions clear?
So here we all are, weeks later. We saw The Room and we lived. We all still exist. The TV room is clean again, quiet. Still. That stillness an act of passive betrayal to the truth. Because the sins that I saw right here, in this room – they were real. The pizza’s long gone; the drinks consumed. The Room is back in its dvd case where it fucking belongs, locked away for all time, calm, so deceptively calm. It will remain there, imprisoned forever like some foul mummy, until such time that I deem myself ready for penultimate punishment, second only to…
No, not death.
The ultimate punishment, I now know, could only be another viewing of…The Room. I will try not to reference too much from the movie, but in this I will fail. I’ve already failed. I understand life. The internet’s already ripe with reviews of Tommy’s work, and to add more low hanging fruit to an orchard of failure will only yield rotten results. My will may be strong, my goal may be pure, but still I will fail.
I will fail because in order for you to truly understand my story, I need you, the reader who has presumably not seen The Room, to relate to my mindset during my own viewing. And I’m fully aware that you likely will never see The Room. In fact, don’t see it. Don’t. There are entire infinities of reasons to not see it. Save yourself, save your time, save your money, save your current perspective on life, which has gotten you this far. I want you to witness without interacting, which I know may be impossible from a scientific standpoint. I want you to witness without me having to relive, but I know that’s impossible too, so I’ll soldier on for the good of all. I’m doing this for you.
I’ve already failed. I’m just a man and like all men, am flawed. Accept me, accept my failures. Love me for them. Witness.
It began like many other group hangouts have, where the goal is to journey together into a scary dark cave of terrible cinema: We started with drinks, of course. We could have simply poured shots, but I thought we needed something with more kick. Enter the Vino Kicker.
If you think that sounds like a shot of vodka dropped into a glass of wine which you then chug, then it’s exactly what it sounds like. Originally dubbed the “Word Merger” by yours truly, my radical and lovely girlfriend Vanessa suggested Vino Kicker, and it stuck. There are no pics of us actually kicking them back (Mmmm yess, let the hate flow through you) because all our hands were full and selfie sticks are for people whose priorities need immediate, aggressive reconditioning. But rest assured, they certainly…packed…a..Ohhh I’m gonna do it…kick. Alright that’s enough.
We took ‘before’ pictures, which I will rely on in the event that I need to prove we were of sound mind. Here we are, still looking respectable:
We then entered…The Room.
We entered with high hopes of witnessing cinematic abnormalities, and readers, know that we were not disappointed. I’m an organized person, so I’m making a real effort to not simply make a bullet point list of all the many, many oddities that we saw, but fyi I might relapse later on. I want you to feel it, like an experience from a past life that you can’t quite put your finger on, like Winona Ryder being such a ho in Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
I can definitely relay how I personally feel, now that I’ve seen The Room. I feel like I want to excise the chunk of my brain tissue that remembers this movie and wring it out like a wet sponge, then collect the juice and weaponize it as a form of intellect and emotion eroding spray, like mace that makes you cruder instead of blinder. Think of the very end of American Psycho where Patrick Bateman not only refuses to repent for his crimes, (real or imagined), but laments only that he possesses no faculty to infect the rest of the world with his own dark insanity. Is this what The Room has done to me? Did I even watch it? Was this all just a fever dream?
Oh no, I definitely watched it. I couldn’t have imagined it. I’ve got creative juice, but it’d have to be blended with lead and boiled down to a noxious sludge in order for me to produce the same ideas that rose to the top of the stew that makes up Tommy Wiseau’s frothy, salty version of reality. I’ve backed myself into a corner, I have no choice now. I have to try and explain the movie. Watch, as I fail.
I can’t tell you what the plot is, because it isn’t. I know that sentence isn’t grammatically correct, but I can’t really do anything about that. The plot isn’t. It isn’t. Instead, I can tell you what I think it was supposed to be.
Johhny (Tommy) is a man’s man with a heart of gold. He works in the “computer business”. He is good and pure and innocent, and head over heels in love with his girlfriend Lisa. But alas, Lisa has become bored with, and perhaps even resentful towards good Johnny, for reasons unknown. One day, on a whim and using minimal effort, she seduces Johnny’s best friend, Mark. There are at least three sex scenes which I will never mention again, ever. Then, Mark and Johnny essentially spend the rest of the movie grappling with the situation (Mark with his betrayal and Johnny with the discovery of said betrayal) in a way that makes you feel embarrassed for being alive and having seen something so awkward and not yelling STOP! at the top of your lungs, or at least smashing your TV.
But wait, there’s more!
- There’s Lisa’s mother, whose character comes the closest to what this movie has to offer as an actual person. Also, it becomes offhandedly revealed that she has cancer, but this is never mentioned again in any form.
- There’s some weird neighborhood kid whose name I forget who is for some reason good friends with Johnny, who comes and goes in Johnny’s apartment as he pleases, and who for some reason thinks nothing of literally jumping into a bed that already has two adults laying in it, under the covers. I’m not sure, it could be his hair, but every scene he’s in makes me feel weird.
- If memory serves there’s contention involving drugs.
- There’s also gun violence. The attitude here seems to be hey, why not.
In Memoriam of My Mind
I’m a pretty punctilious person (thanks Kingpin!) and I’ve got a decent imagination. I know how to explain abstract ideas and complicated concepts in plain language; it was my job for almost five years. And honestly, my vocabulary should be sufficient to accomplish this task. I’ve got all the tools I need, and I know how to use them.
But that description above is about as much as I can do.
Again: Don’t watch this movie. It’ll push you into this weird zone that you’ve hopefully never been to before, where you find yourself shushing your own girlfriend during the movie so that you can more clearly hear dialogue and plot ‘developments’ that cause throbbing, visible tumors to grow out of your neck right then and there. It makes you feel like an asshole, and then you sit there and think to yourself “Man, I feel like an asshole” and you know what, you’re fucking right.
I don’t want to give away the ending in case you ignore all of my advice, also all of the mental warning lights that you have SHOULD* be blaring in your brain right now, but in case you do watch this piece of shit anyway I’ll just say that you’ll be happy to know that the suffering, in a general sense, finally ends.
I know I’ve given nothing away, because the truth of that last statement is a universal constant that’s been proven in the CERN laboratory in Switzerland. The leading scientists there have informed me that regardless of how the movie ends, in order for my statement to remain true and accurate, all that need happen is that the movie actually, mercifully, end.
*If you’ve read this post and alarms aren’t blaring in your head as a result, then hey, you clearly have no survival instinct at all and I think you should watch The Room. Yeah, go ahead and watch it, and furthermore I think you deserve whatever happens to you, in the same way that I think people who shoot themselves in the face while cleaning out their loaded shotgun in their living room, while tragic, maybe have no one to blame but themselves. Nature, God, the Universe or whoever, they all roll a lot of dice when they make life, and not all of them turn out to be high rolls. The lower rolls used to get weeded out naturally – “Hey Throgg, let’s go poke sabertooth bear with stick, ha ha!” – but in today’s society with auto-everything, lots of them survive. They thrive even. They explore, and can sometimes wind up doing things like producing/acting in movies called The Room, or writing this blog post.
If you want to get drunk and watch shitty movies with your buds and laugh, more power to you. Invite me over, because I love that. I mean, they’re making a Sharknado 4, can you even believe that? Uhm wait, of course you can, because drinking and watching shitty movies with your friends has been a fun part of life since goddamned 2006, and there’s been an actual market devoted specifically to that concept for some time now, and I think that’s rad. But this isn’t that, do you hear me? I can’t tell, because I’m not sitting right next to you as you read this. This is not that.
Do you understand? Do you understand me?
I ask again: Do you understand life?