If a lot of people loved each other, the world would be a better place to live.
The Disaster Artist is directed by and stars James Franco and also stars Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Ari Graynor, Josh Hutcherson, and Jacki Weaver. It is based on the book of the same name written by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell, chronicling the makings of the 2003 cult film The Room, which Sestero starred in and is considered by many to be one of the worst films ever made.
If you've seen the misguided masterpiece that is The Room, you will most likely agree that the movie is equal parts awful, hilarious, and mysterious. In my review for The Room, I mentioned that there was never a movie in the history of history like The Room, and there will never ever be another movie like The Room ever again, because it so bad, but so bad in such a unique way that it cannot possibly be duplicated. A lot of the intrigue for The Room comes from the mysterious figure that is Tommy Wiseau, a man whose age, source(s) of income, and place of birth are still unknown. Wiseau has been secretive about specific details regarding his life, and I assume he wants it to stay that way. If we knew all of Tommy Wiseau's deepest, darkest secrets, would The Room be as appreciated as it currently is? The mystery component is largely why we keep coming back to it,, and it's a mystery that we all as The Room fans agree is better left unsolved.
Other cast and crews members from The Room have spoken over the years of their experiences with making the film, but none may be more prominent than Greg Sestero in his book, The Disaster Artist. In the book, Sestero writes about his struggles as a young actor and how he came to meet Tommy Wiseau. When Sestero began to accumulate more acting credits, Wiseau became jealous and planned to earn similar credits. After Sestero and Wiseau went to see The Talented Mr. Ripley, Wiseau was inspired to write the screenplay for his own film. And that film was The Room.
The film adaptation of The Disaster Artist begins with Greg Sestero meeting Tommy Wiseau in an acting class. Sestero is puzzled by Wiseau's over-the-top acting style and eccentric behavior, but is also fascinated by his boldness and enthusiasm for acting and life in general. The two become good friends and eventually move to Los Angeles together. Sestero soon finds success and gets together with a girl he meets at a bar named Amber (Alison Brie). Wiseau, however, faces constant rejection by agencies, directors, and insiders. Sestero's auditions eventually start to wane, and he suggests to Wiseau that he make his own movie. Wiseau does just this: spending the next three years writing the screenplay for The Room. Sestero reads the screenplay, and despite realizing just how incoherent that it is, Sestero insists that it is great and that Wiseau should proceed with making the film.
The Disaster Artist, more than anything, is a celebration of one man's ultimate failure, and how that failure turned him into a legend. No one who has ever watched The Room can possibly acknowledge it as a quality film given its horrendous acting, bizarre dialogue, and various technical blunders. But what Tommy Wiseau has provided to the world is a film that is a source of endless laughter and joy, and that is something that many other films simply can't match.
- The Disaster Artist is very funny, finding a lot of humor in the awkwardness of Wiseau and Sestero's friendship as well as the mishaps going on behind the scenes during the making of The Room. The movie will be a lot funnier if you see The Room beforehand, but there are still plenty of moments to laugh at even if you haven't seen The Room.
- James Franco does a near brilliant job of portraying Wiseau, nailing his awkward laugh and his mysterious accent while also looking convincing in a wig resembling Wiseau's long, flowing black hair. Wiseau himself praised the casting decisions. No, really, what else needs to be said?
- The Disaster Artist is a little too invested in the making of The Room and not so much the character, Tommy Wiseau. Of course the film can't give us all the answers because many of Wiseau's life details are still unknown. But what The Disaster Artist doesn't do enough of is flesh out how mysterious Tommy Wiseau is and how that is interpreted by Greg Sestero. The movie more so displays Wiseau as a talent-less weirdo who grows easily jealous and angry when he isn't the center of attention.
If anything else, The Disaster Artist will bring the massive cult following and history of The Room more into the public eye, while teaching the world that sometimes the biggest failures can equal our greatest successes. With razor-sharp humor and a marvelous performance by James Franco, The Disaster Artist shows how one man's poignant work of film turned into his ultimate triumph.
Recommend? Yes, though I would recommend watching The Room first.
Here you'll find my reviews on just about any film you may have seen. I try to avoid major spoilers as much as possible. I structure my reviews in the following way: