If you go see “The Room,” make sure to bring a box of spoons.
By Isabella Malatesta
The breathtaking Michigan Theater, located in downtown Ann Arbor, came to life on the last night of November 2018 for the showing of “The Room.” Hundreds of fans, with boxes of spoons in their hands, gathered in the theater to cheer on Tommy Wiseau, who’s the lead actor, screenwriter, filmmaker and director of this beloved cult classic.
“The Room” gained quite a bit of attention following the 2017 film “The Disaster Artist,” starring James Franco. “The Disaster Artist“ revealed exactly how ridiculous the making of “The Room” was. With a stellar combination of elementary plot line, which follows a woman who is cheating on her fiance with his best friend, and some pretty questionable acting, this disaster piece, “The Room,” is one you won’t soon forget.
I am a diehard fan of this movie. I have seen it about a dozen times and attended a live showing, so I knew what to expect. My friend, however, who is a newbie to cult films, did not know what he was getting himself into. Anticipating a small crowd of teenagers, he was immediately shocked by the line we had to wait in before entering the theater. Even before we sat down, we were engulfed by the sound of fellow audience members screaming the lyrics to the songs being played by the organist in the front of the room.
All around us, people were throwing spoons at one another and dancing to the beat of the music. Based on my friend’s expression, I could tell he was terrified of what was going to happen once the movie actually started.
As soon as the lights went down, and the opening credits appeared on the screen, everyone in the audience began clapping and shouting. When the actors finally appeared on screen, my friend was surprised that everyone in the crowd, including me, knew all the lines. Throughout the film, there were specific scenes or elements that would act as cues for the audience to react in a specific way. For example, during scene changes, a clip of the Golden Gate Bridge is shown. During this time, the audience chants “go” until the next scene starts.
Another example has to do with spoons. Like I mentioned earlier, everyone in the audience comes carrying several boxes of plastic spoons (metal spoons are banned for obvious reasons). Before attending, you should prepare yourself for the shower of spoons that is inevitable, especially if seated near the front of the theater, because every time a framed picture of a spoon shows up in the movie, everyone goes wild throwing spoons at one another (and trust me, this happens dozens of times). Don’t worry, I did warn my friend about that part when he questioned why I was so determined to get a seat close to the screen. Thankfully, I caught my friend laughing and hollering along with the rest of the crowd.
We closed out the night with a standing ovation, and when we left the theater, I asked my friend what he thought of what I had just put him through. His response? “That was something.”
Going to see “The Room” in theaters is more like a sporting event than a night at the movies. It is, however, something you need to see to believe.
If you do decide to go, make sure you’re prepared.
- The first thing you’ll want to do is watch it in the privacy of your own home before seeing it in the theater. (It’s pretty easy since it’s available for free on YouTube.)
- Find a theater near you that is showing “The Room.” It screens fairly frequently in a art theaters across the country. Once you’ve found a place to see “The Room,” do some research on what to expect. My short recap is only a preview of what happens during this film. When doing your research, you might even run across some cool facts about the movie, like that Tommy Wiseau spent $6 million to make it and no one is quite sure how he got the money.
- The final step is to buy some spoons and get your butt to the theater! Hopefully you take my advice and see this film. When you do, go with friends that you feel comfortable with — it will make the experience a lot more fun.
Isabella Malatesta attends the University of Michigan for digital studies. She loves dance, fashion, and blogging. You can follow her blog on Instagram, which addresses common issues teens face at @iam.becoming.