The Super Duper Meta-Irony of the Room

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Once upon a time, Tommy Wiseau created a film: The Room.

The Room is so bad that it’s almost miraculous.

The Room is like a horrifying mixture of castle-in-a-cloud idealism and an actual trainwreck.

The Room is a trainwreck in a cloud.

It’s funny mostly because it’s not trying to be funny.

Tommy Wiseau created it without knowing how bad it is.

Wiseau is so frank, unapologetic, genuine, and likable in his awfulness that he elicits mixture of embarrassment, pity, and equally genuine delight.

Now, we know the Internet memefies everything it loves.

Accordingly, it has memefied everything about the Room. There’s not just the regular memes, videos, gifs, pics, rifs, songs, and allusions – there’s a full, faithfully rendered Room video game.

The Room’s internet fame is amazing:

  • The “Room Funniest Scenes” has 3.7 million YouTube views.
  • The CinemaSins treatment of The Room has 7.3 million views.

Normally, the Internet moves on. Not this time.

The Room inspires a book, “Disaster Artist.” It’s a best seller.

The book inspires a movie, directed by James Franco and Seth Rogan: The Disaster Artist. That movie may win awards.

The movie will be a (intentionally bad, excellent) film about the making of a (intentionally bad, sadly funny) film that was trying to be good and failing so badly that it is well loved.

It will be decades before any other movie is so good at being bad as this movie.

The Room is not just a bad movie. It shoots the acme of bad movies. It is widely attested to be the Worst Movie of All Time.

The Room doesn’t just inspire parodies. Any old bad movie can inspire parody. The Room is already layers deep into self-parody without realizing it.

The Room inspires unexplored heights of meta-irony. The normal layer of irony is already folded over on itself twice before the satirist goes to work. The raw material is funnier than anything the satirist had hitherto dreamt of. To tackle a good roast of this film requires a masterful command of what makes it so bad.

For a definitive history of Tommy Wiseau, watch Michael McCrudden’s “AFTER They Were Famous”.