In this scene, Dr. Oglethorpe informs US President Orlean about the government’s plans to address the threat posed by a comet through NASA. President Orlean reflects on the numerous meetings she has attended over the years concerning various global threats, such as economic collapse, loose nukes, car exhaust killing the atmosphere, and rogue AI:

Jason: Drought, famine, plague… -Uh… -

US President Orlean: Everything.

Jason: Alien invasion, population growth, hole in the ozone--

US President Orlean: Jason, hey. Read the room for once in your life.

Jason: Sorry, Mom.

It seems that Jason might have said something that wasn’t quite right for the situation. President Orlean is gently reminding him to be more aware of his surroundings and the people around him.

What words of Jason are inappropriate in this scene?

1 Answer 1


This is around 23 minutes into the film. That dialogue starts with the question:

You know how many "the world is ending" meetings that we've had over the years?

At that point President Orlean starts listing some reasons behind those meetings: "economic collapse, loose nukes, car exhaust killing the atmosphere, rogue AI, ..." This is where Jason continues, and enthusiastically so. But being the control freak she is, his mother doesn't want an exhaustive list of everything that went wrong during her presidency, she just wanted to give a few examples, on her own terms.
The "read the room" comment is somewhat ironic, because the reason they are all gathered there is because things are once again going completely wrong, and, even though in her head it always is, trying to make her presidency look good is certainly not something anyone cares about at this point.

This miscommunication between the authoritarian mother and her inept son plays a large (comedic) role in the film.

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