Much like how the previous scene began with two never-before-seen characters with an unexplained relationship to the plot, this week’s scene also begins with a never-before-seen character with a previously unexplained relationship to the plot. It is also one of The Room‘s more infamous moments of suddenly introducing something that has nothing to do with the rest of the movie.
This is the Chris-R scene.
It begins with Denny dribbling a basketball on the roof (for some reason) before he is joined by an unseen figure. The tone is set appropriately with an impossible camera shot that goes through a wall.
Denny stops dribbling the basketball and wordlessly turns towards the figure. The camera cuts to reveal yet another character we’ve never seen before.
Now, I’m trying to simply do a reading of The Room and not get too caught up in behind the scenes details (of which there is an entire world in and of itself), but I feel like it’s worth pointing out – to remind you that The Room can always get more surreal – that Dan Janjigian, who plays the drug dealer, also competed in the 2002 Olympics for the Armenian bobsled team. Fun fact! Anyway, back to the fact that there’s apparently a fucking drug dealer in the movie now.
Strangely, although this scene has nothing to do with anything (you’ll see), this new character and even Denny provide some of the film’s better performances. The new character is clearly all business.
And Denny is clearly incredibly uncomfortable around him.
Chris-R: Hey, Denny.
Denny: (nods) Chris-R.
Yes. The drug dealer’s name is “Chris-R”. With a hyphen. This would seemingly suggest that 1) people frequently go by their first name and last initial, 2) there is another Chris in this movie, 3) that there is literally any reason why someone would go by their first name and last initial at all times, 4) there is then a reason to hyphenate that name, but none of these statements are true.
Denny: I’ve been lookin’ for ya.
Chris-R: Yeah, sure you have.
Denny was just chilling on the roof, clearly not looking for anyone. Also, he was dribbling a basketball on the roof for some reason, so he was definitely not doing anything that made any kind of sense.
Denny passes Chris-R the basketball (again, for some reason), and Chris-R cuts to the chase.
Chris-R: You have my money, right?
Denny: Yeah. It’s coming. It’ll be here in a few minutes.
Wait, what? Were Chris-R and Denny planning on meeting here for this purpose? Why wouldn’t Denny be prepared? Did Chris-R just happen to find Denny on the roof of this building? How did he know to look there? How did he get into the building? What does Denny mean when he says the money “is coming”? Is there actually someone with money on their way? Is Denny trying to stall? Why is he stalling? Why is he stalling on the roof where there is no escape? Why is he on the roof dribbling a basketball, waiting for a drug dealer, whose money he does not have? Why is he on the roof dribbling a basketball? Why is Chris-R a drug dealer who does not require upfront payment and instead apparently works on some sort of deferred payment system with his drug-addled clientele?
Chris-R: What do you mean, “It’s coming,” Denny?
Good question, Chris-R.
Chris-R then gets considerably more terrifying as he leans in and asks, “Where’s… my money, Denny?”
Denny ill-advisedly tells Chris-R the money will be here in five minutes. Denny looks positively scared shitless.
Chris-R: Five minutes? You want five fucking minutes, Denny? You know what? I haven’t got FIVE FUCKING MINUTES.
Things get very bad for Denny.
Chris-R pulls a gun out and slams Chris-R to the ground, screaming, “Where’s my fucking money, Denny?” Which is probably not a very effective way to get your fucking money, but clearly this is a time of crisis. If only someone capable of stopping an angry and built man armed with a gun were to suddenly show up.
Johnny and Mark show up and disarm Chris-R in a struggle that lasts about four seconds. Man, I feel bad for complaining about how Denny dribbling a basketball on the roof didn’t make sense now.
Also, Lisa and Claudette are just standing there now, I guess.
No, seriously, this scene is beautiful. Johnny and Mark run onto the roof and pull Chris-R away from Denny, while Mark also grabs the gun away from him. Suddenly, the camera cuts back to the entrance to the roof, where Lisa and Claudette are standing completely still, suddenly screaming incoherently about the ruckus. Also, as you might imagine, the actor playing Chris-R isn’t really able to make it look like he was overpowered, but rather just kind of gave up.
Johnny and Mark take Chris-R away (Tommy Wiseau nonchalantly says “Let’s take him to the police.” during the scuffle) while Lisa and Claudette go to Denny’s aid. Sort of.
Lisa: What did that man want from you?
Claudette: Oh, that was not nothing!
Lisa: (crying, for some reason, though she has never shown concern for other people until now) Tell me everything!
Claudette: (angry, for some reason, though met Denny for like ten seconds earlier that day) You have no idea what kind of trouble you’re in here, do you? (Do you? Why would Claudette know? Is he in trouble with her?)
Denny: (stoically, I guess) I owe him some money.
Lisa: What kind of money? (…Presumably American money? It’s a little unclear, but this movie takes place in San Francisco, right?)
Denny: I owe him some money!
Lisa: What kind of money? (This doesn’t make any more sense the second time.)
Denny: Everything is okay! He’s gone! (Forever, I guess.)
Claudette: Everything is not okay! Denny, that is a dangerous man!
Denny: Calm down! He’s going to jail! (Because the American justice system just kind of allows you to deposit people in jail because you say so.)
Lisa: Denny, what kind of money? Just tell me! (LISA, THIS STILL DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE.)
Claudette: What do you need money for? (Seriously? Because… because most things.)
Lisa: Mom, stop! Denny’s with me and Johnny! (Whom you’re planning on leaving.)
Claudette: A man like that? With a gun?! My God!
Lisa: Denny. Look me in the eyes and tell me the truth. We’re your friends.
Denny: I bought some drugs off of him. (Well, as I recall, you apparently didn’t.)
Claudette: (rolls her eyes, for some reason)
Denny: Things got mixed up, I didn’t mean for this to happen.
Lisa: (sobbing hysterically, although we have no idea why she cares about Denny) Denny…
Denny: I don’t have them anymore!
Lisa: (screaming) What kind of drugs, Denny?
Denny: It doesn’t matter! I don’t have them anymore! (Because you used them? Because then it might. If only this topic could be elaborated on! Ever. Again.)
Claudette: It doesn’t matter? How in the hell did you get involved with drugs? What were you doing? Giving them to him? Selling them to him? Where in the hell did you meet that man?
Lisa: WHAT KIND OF DRUGS DO YOU TAKE?
Denny: It’s nothing like that!
Lisa: WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOUUUUU?
Okay, you really just need to watch this scene to get the full effect of how hilarious Lisa is in this scene, especially Lisa’s hysterical and sort-of-out-of-nowhere “WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?”
Denny endures some more screaming before he starts crying and delivers some fantastic lines:
Denny: Stop ganging up on me!
And – given how Claudette is weirdly upset about this man she had previously known for ten seconds – this weirdly appropriate one:
Lisa and Claudette continue to good cop/bad cop Denny for a bit, before Claudette declares that, “Somebody had better do something around here” (if only) and Lisa holds Denny. Johnny and Mark return to the scene, having successfully incarcerated Chris-R through the American legal system in about two minutes, to defuse the situation.
Johnny: Come on, stop.
Mark: It was a mistake.
Claudette: A mistake? That he takes drugs?
Johnny: (moaning?) Let’s go home.
Mark: Come on. It’s clear. (Is this a saying?)
Claudette: What’s clear? (I don’t know, Claudette! I don’t know!) I am going to call the police? (About the drug dealer that Johnny already brought to them? About the drugs that Denny doesn’t have?)
Lisa: Mom, stop! It was Denny’s mistake! Just stop! (Yeah, you’re not his fucking mother!)
Mark manages to take Claudette downstairs, so Johnny, Denny, Lisa, and the stirring strings in the soundtrack can have a moment alone to deliver a Message about Society.
Johnny: Why did you do this? You know better, right? WHY? […]
Lisa: Denny, you know that Johnny’s like your father. And we’re your friends. (This is a very confusing dynamic.) We’re gonna help you.
Anyway, as you might have guessed, Chris-R, Denny’s drug problem, and anything else related to this subplot are never mentioned in the movie again. Much like Claudette’s breast cancer, brother, and ex-husband. Stop trying to make subplots happen, Tommy Wiseau.