Independently financed to the reported tune of $6 million, romantic drama The Room premiered in 2003 and has subsequently gained a cult following as one of the worst films of all time.
Many screenings actively encourage audience participation, including shouting lines of clumsy dialogue and throwing spoons at the screen in tribute to a rogue prop, in scenes reminiscent of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
In dual roles as director and actor, James Franco pays tribute to The Room with this comedic dramatisation of the making of the film, based on the memoir of the same title penned by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell.
Greg (Dave Franco) is an aspiring performer, who fails to impress his tutor Jean Shelton (Melanie Griffith) or the other students in his acting class.
He is mesmerised by fellow student Tommy Wiseau (James Franco), who is utterly fearless as soon as he hits the spotlight.
The two men bond and Tommy invites Greg to accompany him to Hollywood to seek their fortune. Almost immediately, Greg lands an agent, Iris Burton (Sharon Stone), but she fails to secure him sufficient work to pay the bills.
Meanwhile, Tommy’s thick accent and unconventional acting style results in endless rejections.
Unperturbed by Hollywood’s reluctance to open its doors to them, Tommy and Greg agree to make their own film, working from a ramshackle script Tommy has thrashed out on his typewriter.
They hire an experienced crew including script supervisor Sandy Schklair (Seth Rogen), director of photography Raphael Smadja (Paul Scheer) and head of make-up Amy Von Brock (Kelly Oxford).
Tommy nabs the lead role for himself and casts Greg in another plum role. Through auditions, the friends also cast Juliette Danielle (Ari Graynor), Philip Haldiman (Josh Hutcherson), Dan Janjigian (Zac Efron) and Carolyn Minnott (Jacki Weaver).
After a stirring speech on the first day of shooting, Tommy prepares to direct his first scene and it becomes apparent to the most experienced people on set that the project is being captained by an emotionally volatile egotist.