The Best Worst Movie Ever Made: The Room (Part 2: Acting and Plot)

The Best Worst Movie Ever Made: The Room (Part 2: Acting and Plot)

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  1. If you haven’t read Part 1 of my review of Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 film The Room, then you should so that you can get a taste of the awful dialogue (the dialogue is so bad it warranted its own article).  In this article, we will discuss plot holes, poor acting, and other small tidbits of spectacular awfulness.

    What is it about?

    The Room is set in San Francisco.  I only bring this up because it is apparently very important to Tommy Wiseau that the audience knows that it’s set in San Francisco seeing as how he uses an establishing shot of the Golden Gate bridge over and over… and over and over again during the film.  One such shot is almost 20 seconds long as the camera pans the entire length of the bridge.

    Johnny (Tommy Wiseau) is a banker in line for a big promotion.  We never find out what the promotion is, why he’s up for it, or why he doesn’t get it.  To be completely honest, we never hear anything about his job except for the fact that he makes a lot of money.  He makes so much money, in fact, that he can pay for an apartment and tuition for Denny (Philip Haldiman).  The reason for Denny being in Johnny’s life is never explained but he has a key to Johnny’s apartment, is in love with Johnny’s future wife Lisa (Juliette Danielle), and even "likes to watch" Johnny and Lisa… presumably while they’re in bed.

    Even though Johnny is Lisa’s "future husband," She is in love with someone else… Mark (Greg Sestero).  Mark is not only the man Lisa cheats on Johnny with, but is Johnny’s best friend (as he says over and over throughout the film as if we forget how bad of a person he is for cheating with his best friend’s future wife).  As Lisa goes through the film and tells everyone how much she doesn’t love Johnny anymore, the reason she gives is just that "he’s boring."  He provides for her, plans to buy her a house, and loves her a lot… which is why he is so boring.  

    Once Johnny finds out about Lisa’s infidelity by "hiding" on the stairs (that happen to be very visible) near the living room and overhearing a conversation between Lisa and her mother, Claudette (Carolyn Minnott), he decides to "record everything."  To do this, he hooks up a tape player to the downstairs phone and, since he happens to have tapes in his shirt pocket, puts one in to record phone conversations.  He later plays one of those tapes back that was recorded on the upstairs phone… it’s magic! 

    Unwilling to break up with Johnny, Lisa continues to act like she loves him; so she throws him a birthday party.  At the party, Johnny makes an announcement out of the blue that he and Lisa are expecting a child.  When asked about it, though, Lisa tells a friend that she just told Johnny she was pregnant to "keep it interesting."  Also, at the party, Johnny confronts Mark.  This confrontation actually sort of happens twice… once, then there is a short break, then they get the full confrontation (I don’t understand it either).  During the confrontation, though, Johnny calls Mark a chicken and they get in a slight shoving match.

    [SPOILER ALERT]

    Johnny, very distraught, goes upstairs and destroys his bedroom by throwing things around like a little kid having a temper tantrum.  He then gets a gun (that seems to just appear out of nowhere) and shoots himself in the head!  When Lisa and Mark see that Johnny is dead, Lisa is happy that she can now be with Mark but, in a shocking twist, Mark shoots her down.  Even though he was in love with her a few minutes before, he now hates her for killing his best friend.  Then, of course, Denny comes out of nowhere, tells everyone to leave him alone with Johnny’s body, and cries over the body yelling, "Why, Johnny?  Why?  Johnny, why?  Why?"

    Is it any good?

    Part 1 already discussed the amazingly bad dialogue and you can notice some of the incoherencies in the plot above.  But here are some other things that don’t make much sense in the plot:

    Throughout the film, people come into Johnny’s apartment for no apparent reason, then leave abrubtly.  Michelle (Lisa’s friend) and her boyfriend show up at Johnny’s place, start making out and eating chocolates off each other, then abruptly leave when Lisa and Claudette arrive.  Why were they there and how did they get in?  Good question.  Another time, Claudette and Lisa enter the apartment together, discuss Lisa’s choice to sleep with Mark, then leave together.  Why did they even come to the house if they were going to leave together?  They don’t pick anything up or drop anything off… the reason has to be so that Johnny could eavesdrop from his terrible hiding spot on the stairs.

    Another conundrum you find in this film is why people go to the roof of Johnny’s building.  Denny gets confronted by a drug dealer up there and Mark and Johnny just so happen to head up there in time to save Denny.  THEN Lisa and Claudette even go up there for no reason.  The entire cast ends up on the roof and there really is no reason for it.  There are too many other instances to discuss but the reason for using the roof can’t be because it is a cool looking scene… it’s all green screen (and very bad green screen at that).

    Moving on from the vast number of plot holes and things that don’t make a bit of sense, the acting is appalling.  You’ve already seen how bad the dialogue is in Part 1 of my reivew, but it’s made even worse by the incomprehensibly bad line deliveries made by the actors.  It’s as if the actors don’t understand tone at all.  The best example of this is Claudette’s reveal of her having breast cancer.  She tells Lisa, "I got the results of the test back – I definitely have breast cancer."  This is a mother telling her daughter about a life threatening disease and she says it as if it’s an afterthought.

    The last thing I have to talk about is the infamous "flower shop scene."  If you search "The Room flower shop scene" on Youtube, you can watch this 19 second scene that sums up the horrible acting, writing, etc. that is The Room.  In this scene, Johnny enters the flower shop wearing sunglasses.  As he takes the sunglasses off, the clerk says "Oh, hi Johnny, I didn’t know it was you."  You take one look at Tommy Wiseau and you know that’s not true.  Then they have a brief exchange in which Johnny pays for a dozen roses.  The dialogue is so rapid fire, though, that they cannot possibly be having a conversation.  It’s as if the actors knew their lines and just wanted to rush through them so they could move on to the next scene.

    Nolan’s Grade:  ??? (see part 1 for explanation)

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