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Tommy Wiseau, famed director, producer, writer, and star of the notorious The Room, is enjoying a weekend in Canada [something he seemed pretty excited about] and hosting screenings of his film at the Mayfair theatre in Ottawa. My roommate picked up some tickets months ago so last night we were able to attend. I hadn’t seen the film in ages, probably over a year, but I hadn’t forgotten just how dreadful it is.
For those not in the know, his train-wreck of a feature rivals anything by Uwe Boll in its complete disregard for basic filmmaking standards. The dialogue is infantile, the editing is atrocious, there are embarrassing continuity errors, and the acting from everyone is what you’d expect from a community college elective class assignment.
The only reason Wiseau’s monster was ever put to film is that he managed to finance the whole project himself. Sadly, I feel that this fact also likely afforded him more creative control than he should ever have been given access to. In any case, the film was made and it’s awful: so awful, in fact, that it has built for itself a massive community of fans worldwide whose capacity for schadenfreude knows no boundaries.
Because of it’s cult success, Wiseau tours indie theatres and talks about his film. He was every bit as disconnected and strange as one who’s seen the film would expect. He wore a dress shirt and vest with cargo pants. He wore a second belt around his thighs and a pair of sunglasses in the dark theatre. He tried to lead us all in a chorus of “happy birthday” to a celebrating fan, but simply fumbled atonally through the last line two-and-a-half times before giving up. With him was one of the cast from his film, Greg Sestero, who made himself pretty small and quiet at the back of the stage while Wiseau spoke to the crowd. I got the impression that while the director was ignorant to the nature of the enthusiasm for his film, Sestero had no such delusions. He was smiling the whole time, though, and I think he gets a kick out of the circus.
Wiseau is an odd one, a claim that few would attempt to deny, but he’s happy. He made his dream project and everyone loves it, in a manner of speaking. I’m glad I got to see the man behind the legend.
EDIT: The two people in the photo dressed as “Johnny” and “Lisa” from the film are fans who Wiseau invited to the stage to stand there and look pretty.