Finding myself at a midnight screening of The Room on Saturday, I was completely unprepared. If you haven’t already seen Tommy Wiseau’s masterpiece of unintended comedy, the first thing you need to do to get the most out of your experience is to manage your expectations. You’re not going to enjoy this movie the way you would, say, Birdman, The Imitation Game, or even The Avengers. Wiseau, who is equally misguided as producer, director, writer, and star, has made what Entertainment Weekly went on to call “the Citizen Kane of bad movies”. Several theaters around the world screen The Room on a monthly basis, drawing enthusiastic “fans” every time. It’s a bad movie but they seem to enjoy it. Here’s how you can too.
1. Remember, kids. You don’t need alcohol to have a good night out. Unless you’re watching The Room. You’ll need a few drinks to wash this one down.
2. Don’t, under any circumstances, watch this one alone. You’ll need a movie buddy. Maybe even a whole group. Choose your company well. They should be able to make you laugh easily. The more sarcastic the better. There’ll be lots to make fun of.
3. If you catch a screening, be prepared for people to talk, even yell, during the movie. That’s part of the fun. Several rituals have developed over the years from the Room cult, involving pre-prepared responses for specific parts of the movie. Don’t worry if you’re not familiar with those. You can pretty much yell whatever you want at the screen. This is one theater you will not get shushed.
4. Pay attention because the director didn’t. The plot holes, continuity errors, and technical fuck-ups are glaring and, if you’re keeping your eyes open, you won’t be able to believe what survived the editing process. Watch out in particular for the front door. The actors will often need you to remind them to close it.
5. There’s no easy way to get through the many awkward sex scenes. My advice is to just be thankful that Wiseau didn’t get his way. He wanted them to be twice as long.
6. Beware falling spoons. It’s tradition in some theaters to hurl a handful of plastic spoons at the screen during several scenes because… well, you’ll see. You can bring spoons of your own or just wait for them to literally fall into your lap.
Consider yourself warned. If you go in prepared, you should have as much, maybe even more, fun than you would at a movie that you thought was actually good. I’ve never actually been to a Rocky Horror screening but this is a little like I imagine it to be.