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What to expect when attending a screening of The Room

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Some dismiss The Room as the “worst movie ever made,” while others believe that Writer, Director, Producer, and Star, Tommy Wiseau, is a creative genius who’s succeeded in crafting a timeless piece of outsider art.  

Released in 2003, The Room has since garnered a cult following, continuing to draw viewers to public screenings more than a decade after it grossed only $1,800 during its two-week stint at the box office.  For those who haven’t yet had the unique, ritualized experience of attending a screening of The Room, your next chance here in Montreal is Friday, Nov. 27 at Cinema du Parc. 

Here are a few key things to keep in mind if you’re going to be an active audience participant. 

Bring your own spoons

Despite the alleged $6 million budget of The Room, it appears that Wiseau couldn’t afford to decorate the set of Johnny and Lisa’s apartment beyond framed stock photos—the one of a spoon garnering the most concerted mockery from fans. Throughout the movie, audience members will throw their own plastic utensils at the screen. So, watch your head any time you hear someone call out, “Spoon!” and make sure you have a few of your own to throw.

Or bring your own football

If you come with a friend, sit at separate ends of the aisle and “toss the ball around” any time characters do so in the movie. If Johnny and the gang can do it in a parking lot wearing tuxedos, you can do it in a movie theatre.

Oh, hi Denny

Denny is a child of indeterminate age who lives next door, and shows up seemingly at random.  Make sure to mimic Wiseau’s flat, unsurprised intonation in greeting Denny (“Oh, hi Denny”) in any scene.  Confused as to why he just entered their apartment without knocking, and then joins the couple for a pillow fight in the upstairs bedroom? Johnny would never let on. Remember to say goodbye to Denny when he leaves, which is never a moment too soon.

Meanwhile, back in San Francisco

Call this out whenever Wiseau makes it apparent the location of the film using a generic, wide-angle shot of the city. As a bonus, Wiseau’s artistic licence with B-roll footage provides a consistent and predictable reminder of the film’s setting. Between many scenes, viewers are subjected to a long, slow tracking shot of the Golden Gate Bridge.  During this shot, chant “Go, go, go!” as if to encourage the panning to complete the length of the bridge. Cheer if it reaches the other riverbank. 

Seventh-inning stretch

Be advised: There are five painfully long and uncomfortably graphic sex scenes throughout the movie. It is acceptable to vocally express your discomfort at each and every one of these borderline pornographic displays. But if you need to get up to use the bathroom, buy some popcorn, or just take a well-deserved break, it is advised to do so during the longest sex scene in The Room.  This happens towards the end of the film, so you can simultaneously avoid seeing it. The A.V. Club has aptly dubbed it the “seventh-inning stretch.”



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