Experiencing “The Room”

Catie Byrne
Features Editor 

Written, starring, and produced by actor, Tommy Wiseau, “The Room,” has become a cult classic bad movie. Encouraged by friends, I decided to watch the movie with a friend, drunk.

Ranking at a respectable 35 percent on movie review website, Rotten Tomatoes, I prepared myself for a good time.

When your cognition is slowed, it’s hard to be particularly critical of the details that have been pointed out in the movie as classically awful. However, it also adds another dimension to one’s movie viewing experience.

“The Room,” features Johnny, a successful banker, his fiancée, Lisa and Johnny’s best friend, Mark. And the plot, essentially, revolves around Lisa’s affair with Mark.

The dialogue was truly something else.

In the opening scene, Johnny buys Lisa a new dress and shortly after, retreats to their bedroom. The character Denny, who has not even been introduced yet, follows Johnny and Lisa into their bedroom, jumps on their bed and proceeds to tell the couple with a coy smile that he, “wants to watch” them.

Johnny and Lisa’s response however, is even more remarkable. Lisa strokes Denny’s hair affectionately and laughs, while Johnny smiles, brushing off the awkward request with the line, “two’s great, but three’s a crowd.”

Indeed, the rumors about this movie proved true. Not even 5 minutes in, and I began to scream from second-hand embarrassment.

Then the first sex scene begins.

To describe it as gratuitous would not be an exaggeration. Cliché music filled the air, and a slow-motion sequence of the two dancing began as the two removed each other’s clothes. My favorite part: Lisa holds a rose at one point during this scene without any explanation as to where it came from.

The morning after, things show up less rosy for the two, as Lisa then admits to her mother, Claudette, that she doesn’t love Johnny anymore because she’s “bored.” A moment later ominous music begins to play as Lisa calls Mark and tells him of her dilemma. The dramatic music continues as she invites him over, and seduces him.

During this scene she calls him “lover boy,” and so the next sex scene begins. Just like the first, all the cinematic stops are pulled out to make the scene as strange and over-the-top.

Afterwards, she then admits that she loves Mark.

Then there is the infamous flower shop scene, known to everyone who has seen the film. Johnny enters a flower shop and orders a dozen roses for Lisa, as he exchanges an awkward conversation with the shop-keeper, who says he is her favorite customer, while he pets the dog in the shop, and says, “hi doggy,” and leaves. It’s hard to describe why this scene is so funny, other than its awkward timing, stilted dialogue and unexpected delivery of the line. It was also funny because my friend and I were drunk, and more easily entertained.

The movie then cuts to another uncomfortable sex scene between Johnny and Lisa that appeared to use the same footage from the first.

Lisa then has another conversation with her mother and tells her that she doesn’t love Johnny again. It’s over the top and over-acted, but her mother’s opening line in the scene is my favorite line in the entire movie: “nobody wants to help me, and I’m dying.”

Of course, in context, Claudette was explaining that she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but the line was so abrupt and off-topic that it was comical in the delivery.

At this point the plot begins to pick up, as Johnny then discovers that Lisa lied to her mother and said that he hit her.

Lisa and Johnny then confront each other about her lie. “You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!” Johnny says dramatically, as he clenches his fists in the air and bends down on the floor.

Lisa tells her mother she doesn’t love Johnny a third time, as Johnny watches on. Devastated, Johnny then decides to set a recorder in the house to document Lisa’s unfaithfulness.

Another sex scene between Lisa and Mark begins that is just as ridiculous as all the rest, and within the next five minutes, the two start to make out again. Lisa reveals to Mark, out of nowhere, that she is pregnant and that he isn’t the father. Then Johnny, Mark and Lisa all have a confrontation.

“Everybody betray me, I’m fed up with this world!” Johnny says, uttering the most oft quoted line from the movie.  He then reveals to Lisa the recordings he has of her and Mark’s conversations, continuing to despair dramatically.

“Everybody betray me, I don’t have a friend in the world,” Johnny says, after Lisa reveals she is leaving him. Johnny has a meltdown, as images of Lisa flash back in his mind while dramatic music plays and he tears their house apart.

After destroying his house, Johnny puts a gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger, as the camera frames his body hitting the floor in slow-motion.

The movie then ends without much of a resolution between any of the other characters. Overall, I can’t recommend this terrible movie enough; however, I don’t recommend viewers watch sober.



Categories: Features, Human Interest, Uncategorized

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