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‘Roomies’ unite at Kahala Mall
BY GENE PARK / Special to the Star-Advertiser
Much like its 2003 debut, Los Angeles cult film “The Room” is raising a lot of eyebrows once again among Hawaii moviegoers, many of whom have never heard of what’s been dubbed the “Citizen Kane” of bad movies.
Special Midnight Screening
» Where: Consolidated Theatres Kahala 8, Kahala Mall
Here’s the elevator pitch: When it debuted in 2003, “The Room” was marketed as having the “passion of Tennessee Williams,” but has built up a reputation of being “so bad it’s the funniest movie you’ll ever see.”
After a decade, the flick has reached cult status via ironic fandom, high profile celebrity endorsements from comedians like David Cross, Paul Rudd and Will Arnett, and social media.
Hello, 21st century — meet your “Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
These days, director/star/writer/executive producer Tommy Wiseau markets the film as a “quirky, black comedy,” even though it’s clear his intention was to write a straight-laced drama about a guy whose fiancée sleeps with his best friend. That’s about as comprehensible as the story gets.
The rest of the script drops story threads and characters as quickly as they’re introduced. A mother discovering she has breast cancer usually makes for compelling drama; here it’s a footnote that’s dismissed like she’s come down with the flu. In another scene, the entire male cast is dressed in tuxedos and tosses around a football about four feet away from each other, all without any reason given.
And the dialogue includes gems like, “Leave your stupid comments in your pocket.”
Film lovers also have fun pointing out the dozens of goofs and flubs throughout the movie’s brisk 109-minute runtime.
In a recent phone interview, Wiseau said he has a message for new viewers of his film: “You can laugh, you can cry, you can express yourself, but please, don’t hurt each other. You can have a groovy time.”
Wiseau is about to embark on a worldwide “Love is Blind” tour that will take him to London and Paris next month. He enjoys national stardom, most recently celebrating the release of the film on Blu-Ray disc. The DVD version has been available on Amazon.com for $9.
When asked how the film ended up in Hawaii at Consolidated Theatres Kahala 8, Wiseau said he didn’t know. But Lindsey Chun-Hori, Consolidated’s Hawaii-based promotions and events manager, said Wiseau’s film company (Wiseau Films, naturally) approached them.
“Our parent company manages the Angelika Centers in the mainland, and the film’s played successfully in arthouse cinemas in New York, Texas and everywhere,” she said. “There are some people who ask us, ‘What is this?’”
The film will play at midnight every last Friday through March as part of a test run.
“I don’t know how (Hawaii residents) will embrace (the film),” said Wiseau. “You guys play football, (and) I’ve been to Hawaii many times.”
Wiseau has historically avoided questions about how much success he’s actually seen since his movie went from dud to “Rocky Horror.”
“Let me answer my way,” he said after a nervous laugh. “It’s fun to have fun, you know what I’m saying?”