Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 film, The Room, is considered by many viewers to be one of the worst movies ever made, and is often mentioned alongside other “so bad, it’s good” films such as Troll 2 and Plan 9 from Outer Space. And it’s now officially available for free on YouTube, which means those who haven’t watched the film can finally see why it has become such a cult classic, all without paying a single cent or leaving the comfort of their home.
According to CNET, The Room was uploaded on Friday to Wiseau’s official YouTube channel, marking the first time the movie became legally available on the video-sharing website after years of unofficial uploads and scene compilations. The publication noted that the upload came ahead of a scheduled Reddit AMA featuring Wiseau and The Room co-star Greg Sestero. Sestero is also well-known for his book, The Disaster Artist, which chronicled the making of The Room and served as the inspiration for last year’s Oscar-nominated movie of the same name.
What makes this movie so special despite the terrible reviews and the fact that it earned just $1,900 at the box office? As recapped by Vox, The Room is a film that is “ostensibly a tale of betrayal,” as Wiseau, who also wrote and directed the film, plays a man named Johnny, who remains blissfully unaware for the most part that his girlfriend Lisa (Juliette Danielle) is having an affair with his best friend Mark (Sestero). While the basic premise of the film resembles that of a typical romantic melodrama, there are many reasons why The Room earned its “so bad, it’s good” status and then some.
For starters, certain lines, such as Lisa’s “I don’t want to talk about it,” Mark’s insistence that “Johnny’s my best friend,” and Johnny’s ubiquitous “oh, hi” greetings, are repeated ad nauseam. Generic, uninspiring, and unsexy R&B plays in the background as Johnny and Lisa make love in the most awkward way possible. And certain plot points, such as Lisa’s mother’s ever-so-casual announcement that she has breast cancer, are never revisited after they are first brought up.
The scenes and lines we mentioned above are just a few of the oft-brought up examples of why The Room was initially savaged by critics but ultimately made into a cult classic thanks to repeated midnight showings and support from celebrities such as Judd Apatow. Even Tommy Wiseau reclassified the film as a “black comedy” years after its release, due to its many unintentionally hilarious moments.
Many things have been said about The Room in the 15 years since its initial release, but Connecticut College film studies professor Ross Morin uttered one of the most memorable quotes about the cult classic, calling it the “Citizen Kane of bad movies” in 2008. Speaking to The Day about a decade later, Morin doubled down on his earlier comments, offering a more detailed assessment of Wiseau’s film.
“It really does feel as though someone from another planet observed sitcoms from the ’80s and ’90s and maybe they watched a little porno, too, and they were like, ‘OK, that is humanity, and I’m going to make a movie about it.'”
We wouldn’t want to spoil the rest of The Room for those who haven’t seen it. But Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero aren’t done making movies, as the pair is starring in a new, two-part black comedy, Best F(r)iends. According to the Daily Dot, the new film’s first volume will be released through digital retailers on Tuesday, September 25.