The Room script is one of the most quoted screenplays of all-time. The film has been dubbed “the Citizen Kane of bad movies”. What can we learn from The Room script and scenes?
The Room Script
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WHO WROTE THE Room SCRIPT?
Written by Tommy Wiseau
Tommy Wiseau is originally from an “Eastern Bloc” country in Europe, most likely Poland. His history is a bit of a mystery, but he personally bankrolled The Room for $6,000,000, suggesting a very large and mysterious source of money.
The Room PLOT
Story beats in The Room script
The Room does NOT follow traditional screenplay structure, but it definitely tries. The script hits a few story beats on time, but the final film is a bit more jumbled. There are missing lines and scenes, including one very large scene where it’s hinted that Johnny is a vampire.
Script Structure of "The Room"
1. EXPOSITION (BEGINNING)
The Room script begins with Johnny and his future wife Lisa waking up before work. Johnny is late and while he discusses his promotion we sense some friction.
2. INCITING INCIDENTThe inciting incident for The Room script is actually pretty solid. Johnny fails to get his promotion, and his future wife, Lisa decides to get him drunk despite the fact that Johnny doesn't drink.
3. CLIMAX OF ACT ONE
Based on traditional screenplay structure, The Room script has the act one climax playing out as the famous roof scene where Mark hints to his affair with Lisa.
4. OBSTACLES (RISING ACTION)
The Room script decides to delve into some subplots, one of which is Billy (Denny) dribbling a football… and headed to meet with a “rugged drug dealing pimp with chiseled features and a black beanie” known as Jimmy (Chris-R). This is also where we get our first mention of “Johnny as a vampire in a floating Mercedes to O Fortuna”. This part of the scene and the entire vampire concept did not make it into the final film.
5. MIDPOINT (BIG TWIST)
The midpoint of The Room script is basically Mark and Lisa hooking up. Mark tries to resist and tells Lisa how much it hurts him to betray Johnny, and how they need to keep everything a secret.
6. DISASTER & CRISIS
Mark is smoking weed. He talks with Peter on the roof, and when Peter pressed Mark about his secret, Mark knocks him out with a punch. Peter wakes up and Mark explains that he has been having an affair with Lisa.
7. CLIMAX OF ACT TWO
Mark and Lisa continue to have sex while Johnny is away. Mark and Johnny hang out, and Mark tries to confide in Johnny while shielding the truth.
8. OBSTACLES (RISING ACTION)
Mark and Johnny seem to be growing closer as friends, but then Mark and Lisa’s romance begins to blossom. Mark and Lisa dance with each other, and Johnny attacks Mark. They get into a big fight.
9. CLIMAX OF ACT THREE
Lisa calls Mark and decides to leave Johnny, but Johnny secretly records the phone call and plays the recording back to Lisa. She tells him she hates him and leaves him.
Johnny pries open a lockbox with a gun inside. He squirms on top of a pile of Lisa’s clothing, complete with pelvic thrusts and cries for answers. He shoots himself.
The Room Script Takeaway #1
The Room quotesThe Room quotes are both iconic and depraved. So many of the best lines are basic and pedestrian, but they are so unrelated to what came before that they gain this unexpected comedic impact.
Read the Coffee Shop Scene — Scroll to Version 3
The Room script has some quotes that didn’t even make it into the film, and probably for good reason. It’s fun to try and figure out why certain lines were removed where others were allowed to remain.
The Best of The Room Quotes
Here is a list of the great quotes that made it into The Room:
“It’s bullshit, I did not hit her. I did nooot. Oh hi, Mark!”
“Why, Lisa, why, WHY?!”
“Johnny’s my best friend!”
“Anyway, how’s your sex life?”
“You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!”
“I got the results of the test back. I definitely have breast cancer.”
“In a few minutes, bitch.”
“Chicken, Peter, you’re just a little chicken. Cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep, cheep!”
“Leave your stupid comments in your pocket!”
“I’m so happy I have you as my best friend, and I love Lisa so much”
From reading the script I get the strong sense that Tommy Wiseau is someone who is very easily influenced, but doesn’t have the capacity to understand his own emotions. Wiseau has a general lack of understanding of etiquette, social situations, and is lost in a world that is almost completely disconnected from causality and time.
He seems to have basic writing rules that were invented in his head, like the need for every line to have a response. His scenes almost always begin and end with characters entering and exiting the scene setting.
The Room script is a blueprint for what not to do. Every screenwriter should read it, and think about why each scene doesn’t work. You could see a more talented screenwriter and director take the ideas of the film and make something reasonably entertaining.
The Room Script Takeaway #2
The Room characters
The Room characters are all semi-autobiographical. Many are different in the script from the final film. For instance, Billy (who eventually becomes Denny) is Lisa’s brother who was disowned by their mother for being a homosexual. He is also in love with Tommy instead of Lisa.
Read the Tuxedo Football Scene — Scroll to Version 4
Another character that changed a bit is Jimmy (who eventually becomes Chris-R). He is pretty much the same, but the name is different, and the tuxedo scene in the script is actually for Jimmy’s funeral rather than Tommy’s wedding, or whatever they’re doing in the film.
Scene Study: Tommy buys a dozen red roses
Also, Mark is supposedly an undercover vice detective, but this was a detail that is never touched on in the script, and the only signs that this was the case comes from Greg Sestero’s book The Disaster Artist.
The Room Script Takeaway #3
The Room “Oh Hi Mark”
We briefly went over a number of quotes from the film, but there is one quote that is not only the universal favorite but also a recurring line of dialogue in almost every scene. This line is, “Oh hi Mark.”
Read the Flower Shop Scene — Scroll to Version 5
In an odd way, this line perfectly explains how Tommy Wiseau thinks about dialogue and scenes. He thinks characters always need to enter rooms at the beginning of the scene. He believes characters are always surprised to see each other, and that emotions reset when another person enters and exits a room. Tommy Wiseau is definitely an alien.
Scene Study: Tommy buys a dozen red roses
What seems apparent is that Wiseau had a relationship go bad. Maybe it was his personality, maybe the woman in his life was truly toxic, but he wanted to channel his emotions from an unfortunate relationship into his dream of being an actor. I give Wiseau credit for choosing truly great influences like Tennessee Williams, Marlon Brando, James Dean, and Elizabeth Taylor. He obviously loves great acting.
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The Room truly is the B-Movie masterpiece. If you want to read more great scripts, we have Seinfeld, Stranger Things and Rick and Morty in our screenplay database. Great screenwriters read lots of scripts. Get started today!