“Leave your stupid comments in your pocket.” “You are tearing me apart Lisa!”
If you’re familiar with those quotes you are part of a cult following of a movie that has been dubbed as the “best worst movie ever.”
“The Room,” written and directed by the eccentric Tommy Wiseau, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a special screening at The Neon on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. with special guest Greg Sestero. Sestero played Mark in the movie and also wrote the book “The Disaster Artist,” which chronicled the making of the movie.
Currently, “The Room” has a rating of 9/100 on Metacritic, but the movie has a had a loyal fanbase that has kept it alive even though it’s hated by critics. Sestero said the movie’s popularity came in phases.
“Six to seven years after it came out it started picking up steam,” he said. “It’s great they support this kind of movie. It’s a great tribute. It shows you don’t need the best budget or best actors to have a hit.”
The movie, which can be described as a drama involving a love triangle, got a huge boost from social media and TV. The entire film is on YouTube and it was shown jokingly on Comedy Central and Adult Swim, which opened the door to a newer, younger audience. Sestero said there really is nothing else like it.
“It’s so genuine,” he said. “You feel like you found a VHS tape from another era. You have one question and then four more. For some reason, it brings people together.”
After going to many screenings of “The Room,” Sestero said people were constantly asking him about the experience of making the movie and his friendship with Wiseau. That’s when he decided to write “The Disaster Artist.” It was published in 2013 and adapted into a movie that was directed by and starred James Franco.
“I believed the story behind the movie was a great story,” he said. “It’s really a deep memoir about friendship and following your dream. It’s a true story about humanity and friendship.”
This won’t be Sestero’s first time in Dayton. He came to The Neon last April for a screening of “The Room.” The engagement was so popular, a second screening had to be added. Neon manager Jonathan McNeal is a fan of Sestero and his book.
“‘The Room’ is a quotable mess, but I ‘like’ it more because of ‘The Disaster Artist,’” McNeal said. “Greg’s story of the creation of this film gives us a deeper understanding of what everyone went through to create this trainwreck.”
Sestero said he will have a few surprises at the viewing and hopes the event will celebrate people who like the movie and those who haven’t seen it. He said he wants to “indoctrinate a few more people into the cult.” Sestero also loves The Neon and its vibe.
McNeal said Sestero introduces the movie and engages with the audience, which helps everyone to be more invested in being in on the joke. And of course, the screening will bring a crowd to the city’s beloved theater.
“We want everyone to have a great time; our regulars who know and support us all year long as well as some newcomers who need to know how special The Neon is to the fabric of downtown,” McNeal said.
HOW TO GO
What: “The Room”
Where: The Neon, 130 E. Fifth St., Dayton
When: Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
Tickets or more info: Visit www.neonmovies.com
About the Author