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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Belcourt shows ‘The Room’ the way it was meant to be seen

The theatrical spectacle of one of the best bad movies ever made
“The Room” brings comedy and entertainment to Nashville’s iconic Belcourt Theatre Nov. 15 & 16 (Photo courtesy The Belcourt Theatre)

Everyone knows to stay quiet during movie screenings. No one likes it when some jerk in the back mumbles throughout the film, thinking whatever he’s saying is more important than the movie itself. There are some cases, however, where literally anything said is better than the film itself. One of these delightful cases is Tommy Wiseau modern cinematic masterpiece “The Room.”

“The Room” follows Johnny, played by Wiseau himself, as he’s caught up in a love triangle between his future wife Lisa (Julliette Danielle) and his best friend Mark (Greg “Sestosterone” Sestero). Lisa seems to have both men wrapped around her finger and can’t commit to one or the other. The movie’s titular “room” sees a rotating cast of characters come and go, whether it be Lisa’s concerned mother Claudette, America’s favorite man-child Denny, and a lot of characters who are never properly introduced.

Most people have heard about this atrocious film at some point or another. It’s been quoted to death on the internet, Adult Swim showed it on April Fool’s Day three years in a row and James Franco directed “The Disaster Artist,” a movie about making “The Room,” which was released in 2017.  As someone who’s seen the movie several times over, I thought I knew the movie front to back. Oh, was I wrong.

The Belcourt Theatre showed two midnight screenings of “The Room” on Nov. 15 and 16 as part of an annual tradition. I arrived on Friday to see a crowd of people lining up for the movie’s signature cocktail — the Scotchka (yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like). Everyone was buzzing with excitement and probably more alcohol. 

The movie was introduced by a passionate Belcourt staffer dressed in a tuxedo as he explained the rules of the night. Viewers were free to shout, drink, cheer, boo, laugh and hurl spoons into the air, one of the movie’s many viewing activities. The sharp-dressed host continued to crack jokes about the film throughout the showing.

The theatre was filled with laughter the moment the film began. After several establishing shots of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, people started shouting, “Where are we!?” Everytime a shot showed Johnny and Lisa’s decorative spoon painting, the audience hurled plastic spoons into the air. People shouted “I put my evil inside of you!” every time Lisa’s mother booped her daughter’s nose. Every time characters tossed around a football, audience members got up to play catch as well. There was a joke, activity or shout out for nearly every second of the film. 

The theatrical “The Room” experience was a feat like no other– it has the audience participation of “Rocky Horror” and the so-bad-it’s-good hilarity of “Troll 2.” Any fan of bad movies needs to put this event on their bucket list, and I promise this Hustler reporter will be going back next year for round two.

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About the Contributor
Brendan Sawyer, Former Deputy Life Editor
Brendan Sawyer ('21) was a student in the College of Arts and Science majoring in economics and cinema media arts. He previously served as Deputy Life Editor and continues to write for the Life section. He can be reached at [email protected]
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