The Best Worst Movie Ever Made – The Room (Part 1: Dialogue)

The Best Worst Movie Ever Made – The Room (Part 1: Dialogue)

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  1. There are movies you love and there are movies you hate.  Then there are movies you love to hate, like 2003’s The Room on which the unforgettable Tommy Wiseau is executive producer, producer, director, writer, and lead actor.  This film has reached an undeniable cult status because of how amazingly bad it is.  It did, however, win one award… not a Razzie.  At the New York Independent Film & Video Festival in 2004, The Room won the Audience Award for Best Feature Film.  Wow.  The Room also shows on the last Saturday of each month at the Laemmle in Los Angeles, CA and sells out every screening IN ADVANCE!

    What is it about?

    The room is about a banker named Johnny (Tommy Wiseau) who is about to marry Lisa (Juliette Danielle) who is cheating on him with Mark (Greg Sestero) who also happens to be Johnny’s best friend.  That’s all you really need to know because if you are watching this film for the story, you’re doing it wrong.  To learn more specifics about the story, read Part 2 of my review of The Room.

    Is it any good?

    There is too much that is amazing bad to discuss in one short article, so in this one we will just look at the dialogue:

    The dialogue is probably the worst part.  The phrases “that’s the idea” and “don’t worry about it” are used over and over throughout the film (one day I will actually count how many times) even in places where they don’t make any sense.  But, most importantly, almost every conversation starts with “oh, hi [name of character].”  It’s hard to be sure why this is the case, but I think it’s to reiterate the names of the characters even though every conversation overuses character names.  Near the end, though, a lot of new characters show up for Johnny’s birthday party and they never get named… even the guy that is a main player in the climactic scene during the party. 

    Beyond that, the dialogue is very “on the nose.”  That is a term used when dialogue says exactly what it means leaving nothing under the surface.  Some examples are as follows:

     

    Lisa, while setting up for Johnny’s birthday party, says, “I’m in love with Mark, not Johnny.  And here I am planning his party” when that is the most obvious thing if you have been paying attention to the movie at all.

     

    Lisa is arguing with her best friend, Michelle, about love and marriage stating their vastly different viewpoints.  Then Michelle says, “Your point of view is so different than mine.”

     

    Also, a lot of the dialogue is repetitive.  It’s as if there are multiple ways to say a certain line, but the character says ALL OF THEM… and in rapid-fire fashion:

     

    Johnny (about not getting a promotion):  That son of a bitch told me that I would get it within three months.  I save them bundles.  They’re crazy.  I don’t think I will ever get it.  They betrayed me, they didn’t keep their promise, they tricked me, and I don’t care anymore.

     

    Lisa (about her mother):  She’s a stupid bitch.  She wants to control my life.  I’m not going to put up with that.  I’m going to do what I want to do, and that’s it.  What do you think I should do?

     

    That line from Lisa brings us to our next point:  characters contradict themselves on a regular basis.  Lisa just got done talking about doing what she wants to do, then asks her friend Michelle what she thinks Lisa should do… amazing.  

     

    Characters also repeat themselves.  Like when Lisa asks Johnny if he got his promotion, he says “nah.”  Then, after a short pause, Lisa says “you didn’t get it did you?”  And the entire scene where Denny is confronted by the drug dealer, Lisa and her mother keep asking him “what kind of drugs” and “what kind of money.”  They ask him these questions at least 3 times EACH in the span of about 15 seconds.

     

    The final thing I have to mention about the dialogue (other than some classic one-liners) is the abruptness of some of the transitions during conversations.  In one such instance, Johnny goes up to the roof (for no apparent reason) and is rambling to himself about how Lisa has been lying to everyone saying he hit her.  Then, he suddenly snaps out of it and into a cheery mood when he sees Mark and (of course) says “Oh, hi Mark.”  The best one, though, is when Johnny and Mark are at a diner talking about a new client at the bank where Johnny works:

     

    Mark:  What client?

    Johnny:  I cannot tell you; it’s confidential.

    Mark:  Aw, come on. Why not?

    Johnny:  No, I can’t.  Anyway, how is your sex life?

     

    Wow!  And to finish off part one of my thoughts on The Room, here are some great one liners:

     

    Claudette (Lisa’s mom):  I got the results of the test back – I definitely have breast cancer.

     

    Denny:  Why, Johnny?  Why?  Johnny, why?  Why?

     

    Claudette (after hearing about Lisa’s not being in love with Johnny):  If you think I’m tired today, wait until you see me tomorrow.

     

    Johnny (as he pets a dog in a flower shop):  Hi, doggy.

     

    Lisa (after revealing she lied to Johnny about being pregnant):  I told him that to make it interesting.

     

    Mark:  As far as I’m concerned, you can drop off the earth.  That’s a promise.

     

    Johnny (confronting Mark about sleeping with Lisa):  You betrayed me!  You’re not good.  You, you’re just a chicken.  Cheep-cheep-cheep-cheep [while sort of imitating a chicken]

     

    And of course, the most famous quote of them all…

     

    Johnny:  YOU’RE TEARING ME APART, LISA!

     

    Check out part two of my thoughts about The Room to read about the poor acting and seemingly incoherent aspects of the story.

     

    Nolan’s Grade:  ??? (it’s so fun to watch and so bad, that I can’t decide)

     

    Follow Nolan on Twitter for more reviews:  @Nol_Col

     

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