As I’ve stated in the past, I am an avid fan of the trashy and ultra-incompetent 2003 movie The Room. Like many people (all of whom unfortunately have no connection to this site whatsoever), I find each viewing of this masterpiece to be a gift from God himself, and as awful as it is, it’s thoroughly entertaining in a way that it trumps most every media creation over the past decade.
Well, hoping to bring the movie’s enigmatic appeal to the literary crowd, a Canadian blogger named Marcus Sullivan has taken this gripping tale of love, betrayal and emotional apart tearing of and crafted The Room Novelization, which, as it sounds, is a novelized version of the film. And while this “book” won’t offer much in terms of entertainment to people unfamiliar with the film, for those of us who are, it’s a mostly delightful companion piece.
Seeing as how we’re dealing with a movie that has one of its climactic speeches being delivered by a character who hasn’t so much as been introduced, an act of mockery sort of lingers on fish-in-a-barrel territory. That said, Sullivan does retell the story in a consistently clever fashion.
Sullivan, for the most part, wisely avoids using obvious blunt force, instead mocking the story through subtlety, using items such as props and the movie’s soundtrack to fill in narrative gaps. He also has a great deal of fun extending the movie’s hammier moments (I read the line “Johnny pulled at Denny’s hair and looked as though he was having an orgasm. And, in a way, he was. An orgasm of relief,” at work and laughed so hard I sort of embarrassed myself).
I also liked how he took aim at the movie’s blatant and bizarre misogyny. While almost nothing in the film makes much sense, a scene in which Johnny, the main character, laughs hysterically after Mark, his best friend, tells him a story about a woman being beaten by one of her lovers seemed particularly bizarre. One of the biggest laughs this “book” gave me was the explanation of how Johnny took great amusement in an adulterous woman “getting what she deserved.”
While I personally don’t have any major complaints about this adaptation, I have a hard time thinking it will have much appeal to people who aren’t familiar with the movie, because ultimately, how could it? After all, this is what Sullivan has to work with…
You could put the collective DNA of Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald into one person, and that super-human literary talent couldn’t even begin to describe the awkwardness of that scene without visualization. Also, he would be dead of alcohol poisoning within hours of his birth.
Then again, I don’t get the impression this was meant to entertain anyone outside of The Room‘s established fanbase, so perhaps such a criticism is pointless. This is clearly a labor of love, as Sullivan seems to have inserted the movie’s dialogue into the story verbatim and it’s hard to think anyone familiar with the source material won’t have a good time reading this adapted work.
If you haven’t seen The Room, there’s no reason for you to jump aboard this novelized version as it won’t make much sense to you. In fact, if you haven’t seen it, go rent it now, watch it, and then watch it again with the excellent RiffTrax parody, and then give this version a read.
Maybe I shouldn’t even have written this, as Sullivan hasn’t even completed his masterwork. But seeing as how he’s only written one chapter since July, there seems to be a chance he never will, thus compelling me to encourage him to not leave the remainder of his stupid comments buried deep within his pocket.
Final Score: 7.75/10
To read The Room Novelization, click here