Matthew Watches The Room #1: We Meet Johnny and Lisa, And Get Very Confused By Who Denny Is

Last week we saw the opening credits, and now we start the movie proper. And start drinking heavily, because this is the movie’s first line:

It may just be the worst opening line of any movie ever. Johnny enters the room (see what happened there?) and says, “Hi, babe.” in what is somehow a gleeful monotone. With that one line – those two words – we immediately know that this is neither a well-written movie or a well-acted movie, the quality of both of which can be best captured with “soap opera fanfiction”. Imagine you have just sat down in a theater to spend the next 100 minutes watching this movie, and those were the first five seconds. Already you can’t believe what’s going on.

But it gets much, much worse.

The entire first scene is actually on YouTube, and I strongly encourage you to watch that, because you need to understand how baffling this movie is.

Johnny and Lisa (whom you are already wondering how they’re a couple) playfully fight over a present Johnny has gotten her in much the same way one might imagine a robot to interpret flirting. They uncomfortably, stiffly tussle, and Lisa makes this… pouting (?) face:

And then Johnny makes this face, as though he has already become completely disinterested in everything that’s happening (which the audience probably is):

Or is *incredibly* stoned.
Or is *incredibly* stoned.

She gets the dress out of the package and tells Johnny she’s going to go try it on. Now, so far, this is just boring. This is a painfully slow scene, and all it really establishes is that there are two people in a seemingly happy relationship. Fortunately, it never stays boring-bad for long and immediately gets weird-bad when Lisa descends the stairs in the new dress and we get this real dialogue that is real.

If you haven’t figured out this is going to be a terrible movie by now, this is pretty impossible to miss. It’s weird to have writing that’s simultaneously very dry and very sexually-charged, but somehow Tommy Wiseau pulls it off with “Wow, you look so sexy, Lisa.” Who talks like this? Why, everybody in this movie! Get excited!

Additionally, it is worth noting that they really did not find the most flattering dress for Juliette Danielle, which in all the times I’ve seen this movie, I’ve heard least maliciously described as “kind of like a potato sack”. Now, an interesting note about this movie is that as the movie goes on, the actress noticeably gains weight (evidently from the stress of working on such an awful movie), which has a certain humor to it, although there are really much more worthwhile things about this movie to make fun of than the lead actress’s physical appearance (like the lead actor’s physical appearance). That being said, wow, this movie does so much stuff wrong, people’s clothes don’t even fit them.

Also, since we’re still starting out and have to get a lot of the film’s oddities out of the way, note how Johnny’s line “I would do anything for my girl” doesn’t actually sync with the movement of his lips (from 0:46-0:48). Yes, you saw that right – portions of the movie don’t have the audio and video in sync. How could they possibly screw that up, you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked. First, Tommy Wiseau didn’t know what the difference was between 35mm and HD film, so the entire movie was shot with two different cameras side-by-side. On top of that, a good portion of the dialogue (particularly Wiseau’s own dialogue as apparently he frequently couldn’t remember his own lines that he wrote correctly) was dubbed, and, as you see in this notable early example, didn’t actually end up in sync with the film.

This is a real movie that is real.

And now we meet Denny.

Who enters the room, pauses, and says, "Oh hey, guys!" as though he wasn't totally sure who was going to be in there.
Who enters the room, pauses, and says, “Oh hey, guys!” as though he wasn’t totally sure who was going to be in there.

It’s not really clear who Denny is, but that’ll be cleared up soon, right? Right? At least we know he’s Denny, as evidenced by Johnny’s bizarre bored/friendly “Oh hi, Denny.” If you missed it, don’t worry. This will happen a lot.

Denny walks in, ogles Lisa, and goes “Wow, look at you!”, which is super uncomfortable, especially if you’re one of the people who immediately guesses that Denny is their son. He’s not, but what he is to them is somehow actually very confusing, as we’ll see later.

The rest of the scene is weirdly a constant power struggle between Johnny and Denny to be the creepiest character in the movie, although this was probably not supposed to be what this initial scene was supposed to establish. Johnny explains the dress with, “Anything for my princeeeeeess” and then REALLY WEIRD LAUGHTER. Once again, don’t worry if you missed it. THIS WILL HAPPEN A LOT.

Johnny announces that he’s going to take a nap, which he does while making a terrifying expression at Lisa.

This is Tommy Wiseau's "I Know You Want It" face
This is Tommy Wiseau’s “I Know You Want It” face

Denny, who is either naive, oblivious, or… something else… asks if he can goes upstairs too. Where Johnny is going to take a nap. And not be conscious. So, what do we make of this? He likes hanging out with Johnny so much he doesn’t care if he’s even awake? He’s harboring a secret lust for Johnny? I have no idea what to make of this scene, and nothing about Denny makes any sense at all as he takes a single, slow bite out of an apple as he watches Johnny and Lisa go upstairs, listens to their dirty talk, and then follows them up the stairs anyway.

By the way, I was being totally serious when I said that every time you watch this movie, you catch something new about it revealing even more shittiness. Until I started writing this post, I actually never heard their “sexy” dialogue going up the stairs, and, well, it’s pretty special. So here it is verbatim:

Lisa: “I’ve got some candles upstairs.”
Johnny: “You always think. Haha. All right, I’m ready.”
Lisa: “This is so great. I can’t wait for you to get it off of me.”
Johnny: “Awwweeooo (???), yeah.”
Lisa: “You’re in for it.”
Johnny: “Ohhh, yeah.”
Lisa: “How much did you pay for this dress?”
Johnny: (COMPLETELY UNINTELLIGIBLE, but it sounds sort of like “ein die gas”, which I don’t think is correct)

Johnny and Lisa begin the foreplay, which is pillow-fighting. Denny JUMPS ONTO THE BED TO JOIN THEM.

Would you believe that we haven't seen the movie's love triangle yet?
Would you believe that we haven’t seen the movie’s love triangle yet?

But it gets irrevocably weirder when Johnny cuts to the chase:

Johnny: “Denny, don’t you have something else to do?”
Denny: “I just like to watch you guys.”

WHAT. WHAT JUST HAPPENED. Did Denny just tell Johnny and Lisa that he likes to watch them fucking, because that’s really what it sounds like. Lisa is surprisingly understanding, although I guess she’d kind of have to be since she also finds the prospect of seeing Tommy Wiseau naked to be desirable.

Lisa: “Oh, Denny, Denny, Denny boy.”

That “Denny boy” thing probably really fucks with everyone who still isn’t sure if this guy who told these two people that he likes watching them have sex is their son or not.

Although then we have one of Johnny’s most legitimately logical lines in the entire movie:

Johnny: “Denny, two’s great, but three’s a crowd.”

The most uncomfortable silence ever happens as Denny accepts his fate and leaves to do homework (Seriously, how old is Denny? Who is Denny? Why is he such a mysterious figure?!), acknowledging that they want to be alone. Johnny throws in a “That’s the idea” for good measure, just in case that was the part of this scene that confused anybody.

Next week, we watch the movie’s first sex scene! Of four! Which is also the part of the movie where people realize they need to get another drink.

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