I just back from seeing The Room and figured I’d share some thoughts here. First off, count me in for The Disaster Artist. I’m not necessarily proud of it, but I’m intrigued.
I was telling a friend earlier today about my plans to go see the movie, and he expressed concern that it might not deliver the kind of entertainment I was hoping for.
“Isn’t it just a bad movie?” he asked. I conceded that was a risk.
Indeed, The Room has none of the charm of a film like Rocky Horror Picture Show or even an Ed Wood film. Those films at least celebrated weirdness in interesting ways, which gives them a point of view that distinguishes them, even if the execution is lacking.
That’s not really the case with The Room. Wiseau clearly takes mainstream cinema as his reference point, even famously cribbing a line and delivery from James Dean. It’s a bit like if you fed a bunch of movies into an artificial neural network and then asked it to generate a movie based on the input (to see what happened when someone did this with Christmas songs, check out this video). You get something that has several of the trappings of the thing it’s trying to imitate, but nobody who knows anything about the real thing would be fooled.
Much has been made about the sex scenes in The Room – specifically, that they’re all long and awkward, and the movie has a lot of them. Much has also been made about the terrible script and equally terrible acting. Less has been made about the copious use of what I assume is stock footage and the questionable choices in music, but those are noticeable elements, too. While these are fatal flaws in modern drama, there are other genres where at least some of these compromises can be glossed over a bit.
That’s right – I’m talking about porn.
With a few tweaks, one could make The Room into a serviceable porno. Start by cutting most of the scenes with auxiliary characters. They don’t add anything to the story anyway.
Fewer scenes mean fewer transitions, which means less stock footage. Those changes should help tighten up the storyline. As we learned from Steven Pressfield, even porn has to have some semblance of a story.
The music could stand to have a bit more variety. Fortunately, there’s a whole industry of composers who write for porn, and they’re probably easier to work with than some graduate student who thinks they’re the next John Williams or Hans Zimmer. Getting more and better music shouldn’t be too difficult.
Which leaves us with the sex scenes themselves. The sex scenes in The Room look like they were constructed by someone who not only has never had sex before, but also has never seen a porno or even a well-executed sex scene in a movie. Since this is basically the raison d’être of the porn industry, I have full confidence that they’ve got people who could get the cast where they need to go.
The shitty dialogue, acting, and camera work could basically stay as they are. No one expects those things to be any good in porn.
And there you go! We’ve taken a failed romantic drama and transformed it into something that could work within the conventions of its genre. You’re welcome, Tommy Wiseau.
Do you think The Room could work as porn? Are there other movies that you think could benefit from this treatment? If you think I’m onto something, share this post with your friends!