How to Watch The Room Before Seeing The Disaster Artist This Weekend
The Disaster Artist, directed by James Franco, tells the story of the making of The Room, a film that’s regarded as the Citizen Kane of bad movies. In the film, Franco also stars as Tommy Wiseau, who starred, directed, and bankrolled The Room in the early 2000s. Based on the book of the same name by Greg Sestero (who also starred as Mark in The Room), The Disaster Artist is a layered and hilarious meta-comedy that delves into the pain of artists, the struggles of creators and the allure of fame. Franco himself gives a truly incredible method performance of the baffling and unnervingly charming Wiseau.
It’s definitely one to see this weekend, but for anyone that hasn’t been aware of the strange cult fandom of The Room, it might all be a little confusing.
Here’s how to get caught up with The Room and everything you need to know before seeing The Disaster Artist.
Do I need to watch The Room first?
Even though the film’s writers say it’s made to be viewed either way, you definitely should see The Room before watching The Disaster Artist. While you don’t need to be the type of person who goes to midnight screenings every month, you should at least be vaguely aware of how phenomenally, absurdly bad The Room is. You need to know the iconic lines, the nonsensical characters, and the bizarre circumstances under which The Room came to be to get the full effect of The Disaster Artist. Franco’s movie is a labor of love, one that exhaustively recreates its original source material, and that will be lost on anyone who hasn’t seen Wiseau’s film. So many of the performances and casting choices and even the timing are so nuanced you just have to see The Room first. Plus, as bad as it is, The Room is fucking hilarious on its own.
Okay, then where can I watch The Room?
Here’s the bad news: The Room is not streaming anywhere (legally) online. You can buy the DVD from Amazon, which isn’t expensive (as press time, it’s $10.54), but it might not be the most convenient way to watch the movie before The Disaster Artist is out. (Plus, do you really want to own a copy of this movie?)
Otherwise, lots of movie theaters in most areas of the country regularly show screenings of The Room. There’s likely one happening near you, especially given the excitement for The Disaster Artist.
So there has to be another way, right?
Thankfully, even though you can’t stream the whole movie (legally) online, there are other options. A number of compilations of the best (aka the worst) scenes from the movie are available to stream on YouTube. If you’re worried about seeing the whole movie, don’t be! The Room’s plot is nonsensical as is, and you’ll get the same effect watching key scenes in a random order! Hell maybe the movie will make more sense if you watch it in the right order.
This compilation of scenes actually hits most of them.
Here are some specific scnes you might want to watch before seeing The Disaster Artist.
This is a scene where the mom casually announces her breast cancer diagnosis, which is never mentioned again in the movie:
The Room opens with three back-to-back sex scenes that use the same footage. Here’s a shitty quality version of the first sex scene that’s also edited. It’s the best I could find:
I honestly can’t remember why this scene happens, but Peter falls and is bummed about it:
I also can’t remember why this scene happens but this dude’s face is funny as hell: