With ‘The Disaster Artist’, James Franco transforms the tragicomic true-story of aspiring filmmaker and infamous Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau—an artist whose passion was as sincere as his methods were questionable—into a celebration of friendship, artistic expression and dreams pursued against insurmountable odds. Based on Greg Sestero best-selling tell-all about the making of Tommy’s cult-classic ‘The Room’ (2003).
What do you get when you mix self-delusion, ego and money together? No, not the 45th American president! The correct answer is Tommy Wiseau. Part ‘American’ man. Part thespian. FULL mystery! The oblivious genius behind the best worst movie ‘The Room’ that reached iconic cult-classic status for its bizarre plot, terrible dialogue, outlandish acting and curious editing flaws.
Who better to direct, produce and star in a film based on a tell-all book chronicling the making of Tommy’s disasterpiece? The obvious choice: multi-tasking wunderkind, James Franco. Overachiever by day. Stoner by night. Creepy crazy crouton for LIFE! Technically, you need a crazy to create crazy and Franco brought his crazy by method acting and directing this dramedy.
‘Disaster Artist’ deals hilariously with the struggles of aspiring actors, friendship and creativity. The plot revolves around the odd relationship between Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) and ‘babyface’ Greg Sestero (Dave Franco). We’re taken on a journey that shows us how it got to the point where Wiseau decided to produce, write, direct and star in his own film.
The wealthy weirdo Wiseau spent $6 million of his own money to make ‘The Room’– money that is still a topic of discussion since everyone has theories about how he became a millionaire. We get to see glimpses of the films torturous development process, the agony the crew and actors had to endure to capture Wiseau’s art and that infamous navel-banging sex scene.
There are two small things that bothered me a bit about ‘Disaster Artist’. The first thing was Dave Franco’s height, he is much shorter than Sestero, but this can be forgiven as he did a pretty decent job of playing the naïve and supportive friend. The second thing is how one-sided it felt since it was taken from Sestero’s book and perspective. Franco had the opportunity to dig deeper into Wiseau’s life and his story, but failed to produce something substantial.
I still wonder why Sestero entertained Wiseau’s strange nature. Was it really because he was so young and naive? Was it because he was using Wiseau for his endless amount money? Why did Sestero remain friends with a man who refused to let him find his own route to success? Don’t get me wrong, there are scenes that address Wiseau’s issues with betrayal and trust and offer subtle hints of Wiseau’s jealousy and possessiveness of Sestero, but it’s just not enough. I kinda wanted more.
Ironically, one of the worst movies ever made enabled James Franco to make one of his best films. His imitation of Wiseau and his particular speech pattern is Oscar worthy and I feel a bit sorry for him being snubbed for an Oscar. The recreations of the scenes are SPOT ON and we get to see it at the end of the film.
Complaints aside, I liked the film. I was joined by Radz from Radzphotography and she had no idea that ‘Disaster Artist’ was based on ‘The Room’ but that didn’t stop her from laughing or enjoying the film. So even if you haven’t watched the worst movie ever made, you can still appreciate Franco’s ‘Disaster Artist’.
As a huge fan of good bad movies, I encourage you to watch this film. 8/10
*PS. Yes there are other actors in the movie but James and Dave steal the show.
While you’re at it, check out the mockumentary web series following the original actors from ‘The Room’: