‘Anyone throwing American footballs will be ejected from the cinema’ – The Room, Prince Charles Cinema

You just know it’s going to be a good night when that’s up on the screen don’t you? And it was.

This is part recommendation, part review, part attempt to make sense of one of the most bizarre and entertaining evenings of film I have ever witnessed.

First the basics. There’s this film called The Room. It’s hands down the worst film I have ever seen. Ostensibly a romantic drama, it’s so poorly executed it has been retrospectively labelled as a black comedy by writer, director and ‘star’ Tommy Wiseau, even though that’s clearly bollocks.

Words can’t describe how bad this film actually is as a film, so here’s the actual official trailer:

There are more gems like that all over Youtube, check them out.

Even this brief glimpse of the film gives you a fairly strong idea of the level of acting, dialogue, plot and set design you’re in for with this.

There are so many, many faults with The Room that it would be a fool’s errand to list them all here, and other sites do a pretty comprehensive guide. As a taster, some of the key themes are:

– Characters who turn up in the film and are never introduced

– Throwing American footballs around in cramped and unsuitable spaces

– The above but in tuxedos

– Eye-wateringly bad sex scenes. There are three; the first two are the same scene re-hashed because the actress involved allegedly wouldn’t do two takes. The third is so long you can comfortably get a beer and go for a wee while it’s on

– Spoons

– People not shutting the fucking door

Bring lots.

Bring lots.

Why would anybody give this flick a chance?

Well, it turns out that the good folk at the Prince Charles in Leicester Square do, and so should you.

They show it about once a month, and it seems to be a sellout (300 people or so) quite regularly. The film has gained such a cult following that people show up in Tommy Wiseau fancy dress toting footballs, and the supply of plastic spoons in London must be put under severe strain as people turn up with bags of them.

Why plastic spoons and American footballs? To hurl at the screen of course.

What results is pure, unbridled hilarity for 99 minutes of cripplingly awful cinema with a long list of ‘rules’ and a properly devoted fan base. One bloke even dressed up as main love interest Lisa, which seemed extreme.

The rules are various and almost always involve shouting. When the picture of a spoon, clearly a stock photo that cam with the frame, is on screen, shout ‘Spooooooooooooooon’ and hurl your plastic cutlery. You have not lived until you’ve seen 500 spoons gracefully arcing towards a cinema screen.

When nobody closes the fucking door in the film, scream at them to close the fucking door.

When another random character comes in and isn’t introduced, enquire as to who the fuck they are.

When the two random characters who aren’t introduced come in and start making out, tell the man to do the face. He’ll do the face. You’ll wish he hadn’t done the face.

When another¬†framing shot of San Francisco comes up to remind us that we’re still in San Francisco, remark on the fact that we’re still in San Francisco.

When the camera pans across the Golden Gate bridge, shout encouragement. Celebrate wildly if it makes it all the way across.

When the camera unfocuses, as it does regularly, shout ‘Focus!’.

When the sex scenes kick off, scream ‘Unfocus!’.

Observe a hushed reverence for the flower shop scene, as this is the acting zenith of the film and also one of the best things you will ever see.

Be prepared to scream ‘You’re tearing me apart Lisa!’

Be prepared to have a game of American football outside the cinema afterwards.

Be prepared for the football to be confiscated after your gangly flatmate overcooks his throw again and almost puts it through a restaurant window.

Be prepared to get significantly drunk beforehand.

Have a celebratory scothka afterwards.

These are only a very few of the rules. A more comprehensive beginner’s guide can be found here.

If you’re a complete newbie, don’t worry – about 75% of the audience seem not only to know the film but to know every chant, callout and spoon-throwing moment therein. You’re in safe hands.

So, yeah, basically, go see it, you won’t have more fun in a dark room.

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