The Disaster Artist tells the true story of a man with a dream named Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) who enlists the help of his friend Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) to create real, Hollywood non-Mickey Mouse movie called The Room. The film also stars Alison Brie, Seth Rogen, Ari Graynor, Josh Hutcherson, Jacki Weaver, Hannibal Buress, Jason Mantzoukas, Nathan Fielder, Paul Scheer and Zac Efron and is directed by James Franco (In Dubious Battle, The Sound and the Fury).
My Thoughts On The Characters And Story
As someone who has seen The Room a shockingly disgusting number of times, it’s a truly terrible movie. I’m not sure why I have seen it as much as I have, it’s mostly wanting to show my friends and family a movie that is so undeniably horrendous & incoherent because ‘masochist’ is my middle name. It’s also insanely quotable, I probably say “don’t tahch me motherfahker” on a daily basis. After watching the film for the first time a few years ago, I learned that Greg Sestero AKA a beautiful specimen of a human wrote a book detailing the behind-the-scenes experience of filming this strange picture and providing insight as much as he could into the mind of Tommy Wiseau, a guy I don’t think of as a visionary or a misunderstood soul. He’s
kind of an asshole and is probably an alien who’s traveled back in time to deliver a movie he thought humans would enjoy.
So when I heard about James Franco taking the reins of filming an adaptation of Sestero’s informative book, I was ridiculously excited and this film really delivers on the humour component – I found myself laughing horrendously throughout the film which is certainly a testament to the screenwriters because I thought I would only laugh at the sequences involving the actual filming of The Room. James’ portrayal of Wiseau is fantastically brilliant, I appreciated wholeheartedly that he wasn’t doing a Wiseau impression because any exaggerated Wiseau diction would’ve gotten old real quick. It was funny initially hearing him when he arrives on screen and as the film progressed, I grew more used to it. The depiction of Wiseau is mostly surface level which isn’t inherently a bad thing, however with how rich the source material is (seriously, everyone should read The Disaster Artist) and, not to mention, how ridiculous the actual man is, it would’ve been nice to see more of a deeper dive into the psyche of Wiseau.
Younger Franco as Greg Sestero, he was enjoyable to watch on screen however he kind of had a burrowed frow expression for essentially the whole movie. If you watch any interview with Sestero, he speaks in a very calm… soothing… manner that Dave simply doesn’t showcase. In terms of his relationship with Wiseau on-screen, both Francos unsurprisingly have great chemistry together. I enjoyed the various callbacks sprinkled throughout the film, particularly involving the seriousness of the pinky swear.
The secondary cast is brilliant; Zac Efron is easily the standout for me. He appears in only one or two scenes but he absolutely NAILS his performance as Chris R. (Not just “Chris”… Chris R. This is real Hollywood movie). It’s always nice watching Trudy Campbell AKA Alison Brie appear in anything and watching her act alongside her husband and brother-in-law made me happy. The Great Jacki Weaver‘s portrayal of Claudette is fantastic and reading about how serious the real-life Carolyn Minnott took her role in The Room was simply heartbreaking for me (she actually fainted of heat stroke during filming and took it all in stride. This woman is a national treasure).
As the film progressed toward the end of the second act and more conflict was needed to be inserted, this was where it kind of fizzled out for me. It seemed like an argument had to be had at this particular moment to begin the conventional sad montage. While I enjoyed watching the film, my excitement dwindled a bit following that however the final few moments where side-by-sides were shown were a fantastic way to end it.
Prepare For Some Serious Night At The Roxbury-Esque Head Bobs
The soundtrack is one of my favourite aspects of the film, kudos goes out to the ones responsible for choosing the quintessential late ’90s/early 2000s tunes that had me politely stomping my foot and nodding my head along in pure jubilation.
I’d recommend checking out The Room first or at least being familiar with it prior to watching The Disaster Artist (but seriously, just watch it) and then you may bask in the glory of seeing the characters re-enacted by some of Hollywood’s best.
The Disaster Artist receives 3.5/5 Matt Damon heads.