In a sea of bad movies, Tommy Wiseau's 2003 romantic drama The Room stands apart as something unique. Widely considered the Citizen Kane of so-bad-they're-good movies, The Room has acquired cult status and pop culture immortality on the strength of its awfulness, even spawning the Oscar-nominated film The Disaster Artist. But its widespread notoriety was not enough to tempt Netflix into a streaming deal. The creator of the film, Tommy Wiseau, revealed this fact on Twitter in response to a fan asking if The Room could become available on Netflix someday.
"Netflix said no."
The Room is the story of Johnny, a good-natured investment banker played by Tommy Wiseau, his duplicitous fiancee Lisa, and best friend Mark, and the love triangle that develops between the three over the course of the film. But really, the movie could have been about lion tamers trying to figure out how to fix a leaky faucet for all the difference the plot made to the film's reception.
What The Room is really known for is the bad acting of the cast members, the many technical and narrative flaws, and a bizarre screenplay, also written by Wiseau, featuring such gems as the staple amongst internet memes, "You're tearing me apart, Lisa!"
It says much about the film's quality that it was found wanting by Netflix's standards, a site which has frequently featured movies with a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It might also have something to do with the movie's borderline pornographic sex scenes.
But then, the fact that The Room is considered so very terrible is what allowed for it to become popular in the first place. If it had been a run-of-the-mill bad movie, it would have long been forgotten. Instead, fascinated audiences watched the film again and again, and James Franco was so moved by Wiseau's work as the writer, director, producer, and star of The Room that he played him in The Disaster Artist.
Even if it is not on Netflix, The Room did make Wiseau a star of sorts, even if for the opposite reason that what he had hoped for when he first started out making the film. But Wiseau has embraced the notoriety that The Room gained him. He was a part of The Disaster Artist in a small cameo, and he was right there on the stage along with James Franco and the rest of the film's team receiving awards.
While The Room may not feature on Netflix any time soon, unless fans want to start a 'Release the Wiseau cut' campaign for Netflix, you can buy the film on Blu-ray and DVD through Wiseau's website, Amazon, and other outlets. Or you can play The Room Tribute, an unofficial video game adaption of the movie. Meanwhile, Wiseau has plans to make the broadway adaptation of The Room, and is currently working on Big Shark, a film that was supposed to release last year before filming got delayed.