behind the seams the room

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‘Behind the Seams’: Why ‘The Room’ has such horrible costume design

What can we learn from the costumes of the worst movie ever made?


Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Internet Culture

What can we learn from watching one of the worst films ever made? The Room has mesmerized audiences since 2003, becoming a cult classic on par with The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Ostensibly a romantic drama, this movie gets everything wrong: acting, writing, cinematography, you name it. Shaped by the eccentric vision of its writer/director/star Tommy Wiseau, it’s fascinatingly bad. And that includes the costume design.

In this week’s episode of the Behind the Seams video series, we explore what makes The Room‘s costume design so awful—and what it tells us about other movies. In a normal contemporary drama, clothes can offer a lot of information about the characters and setting. But when a movie gets it this wrong, the costumes become an unintentional punchline.

To explain the bizarre fashion choices of The Room, we dug into Tommy Wiseau’s unique worldview, the film’s hilariously on-the-nose brand of sexism, and how the film got made in the first place.

If you enjoy video essays like Every Frame a Painting, you’ll love Behind the Seams! New episodes will arrive weekly, decoding the world of costume design on film. Subscribe here, and check out our previous episodes on Mad Max: Fury Road and Keira Knightley’s historical filmography.

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