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Countdown to The Disaster Artist: 5 bizarre rituals when watching The Room


There's just one day to go until the wide release of The Disaster Artist, James Franco's triumphant tragicomedy exploring the making of The Room.

The latter, directed by Tommy Wiseau, is widely considered the 'Citizen Kane of bad movies' and inspires many chaotic, raucous cult screenings across the world, most famously at the Prince Charles cinema in London.

To further prepare you for Franco's highly entertaining movie, in which he also stars as Wiseau himself, we've rounded up five wonderfully weird rituals that accompany every screening of The Room. Trust us, we're not making this up...

1. Spoooons!!

The Room revolves around San Francisco banker Johnny (Wiseau) whose fiance – or "future wife" – Lisa (Juliette Danielle) is cheating on him with best friend Mark (Greg Sestero, who wrote the book on which The Disaster Artist is based).

If you've never seen the movie before, you may be puzzled by the preponderance of photo frames containing spoon images in the background of every shot. That's because the crew never swapped out the stock images – lucky for the audience, as it allows them to lob plastic cutlery at the screen every time a spoon appears, accompanied by plenty of hoarse shouting.

The sea of spoons left behind at the end of every screening is one of the many pleasures of seeing The Room with an audience.

2. Football

A good 10 minutes of The Room consists of Wiseau and his co-stars pointlessly throwing an American football back and forth, often when they're standing less than a couple of feet away from one another.

Why do they do this? No-one knows – Wiseau must have thought it was character-building, although it gets weirder when the main ensemble dress up in tuxedos and take their game out into the street...

You can probably guess that every time a football appears, one is thrown through the audience.

3. "Close the door!"

The Room is notorious for containing an exorbitant amount of shots where characters walk in and out of rooms, often multiple times within one scene. This ordinarily wouldn't be a problem but when coupled with the jaw-droppingly bad dialogue and acting, it becomes a serious distraction. Very often those involved don't even deem it necessary to close the door behind them.

As ever, the movie's sub-par production values have taken on a life of their own, inspiring the audience to yell at the screen and laugh themselves senseless at the multitude of logical errors.

Check out the following montage for the full hilarity.

4. "Meanwhile, back in San Francisco..."

Perhaps the best thing to be said about The Room is you get some nice establishing shots of the Bay Area, including Golden Gate Bridge. Even so, that didn't stop Tommy forcing his production team to mock up outdoor locations using sets and green screens, including the notorious rooftop "I did not hit her" scene. (Why did he do this? No-one really knows.)

The problem is, there are so many landscape shots of San Fran that after a while, they become as laughable as everything else in the movie. Cue the above audience response...

5. "Who are you??"

Midway through production Wiseau abruptly sacked several crew and cast members, replacing them at his own expense. Indeed, one of the great mysteries of The Room is where the money came from: as seen in The Disaster Artist he had a seemingly bottomless pit of cash and eventually spent $6 million on the movie. This included thousands of dollars to keep it in theatres to qualify it for Academy Awards consideration.

The film's turbulent production becomes apparent when we see one of the characters, Peter the psychologist, being played by not one but two actors, a headscratching development that is never explained. This is because the original performer was fired and his lines were then passed onto somebody else. The confusion felt by the audience is palpable and utterly hilarious.

(Said actor can be seen 0:08 seconds into the following clip, to Greg Sestero's left.)

Hopefully that's given you a suitably weird flavour of The Room, and it'll soon be time to watch the wonderfully bizarre behind the scenes story come to life in front of your eyes.

Click here to book your tickets for The Disaster Artist, opening nationwide tomorrow.

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