If you were given the opportunity to go back in time and get the chance to see the filming of one movie that made you curious about how it was made, one in five chances might be wondering how a movie turned out to be absolutely terrible. After finally checking out The Disaster Artist, imagine being a fly on the wall with all the problems that occur during the making of The Room.
Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) and Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) become friends after meeting each other in an acting class in San Francisco. Hoping to achieve Hollywood stardom, Sestero moves to Los Angeles and signs on to appear in his buddy’s project. Financed with his own money, Wiseau writes, directs and stars in “The Room,” a critically maligned movie that becomes a cult classic.
The first time I even heard of The Room was back in 2013 where I either I watch it on Cinemasins or Nostalgia Critic, which is one of the best episodes. And if you’ve ever watched The Room, it’s very, very clear why it’s considered one of the worst movies ever made for many reasons: acting, directing, writing, throwing a football around for no reason, not knowing what the movie is all about etc. It gained that status of it being so bad, it’s a good level of guilty pleasure. Based on the book of the same name by Sestero and Tom Bissell, I only read half of the book when I got it from the library. But what I read so far was fascinating that everybody went through this on set. When the idea of a movie being made about this instantly got me anticipated because you have to know what it was like shooting this. So, with some comedies not living up to expectations this year, The Disaster Artist deserves all the laughs it contains
Directed by Franco, this could’ve been very silly and not worth any time, but he actually pulled it off in a way that felt similar to Tim Burton’s Ed Wood where it’s about a terrible filmmaker but making it interesting. It made us a part of this experience of being part of the crew dealing with all these weird things Wiseau is wanting for a certain scene. Because of his direction and the adapted script from Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber ((500) Days of Summer, The Fault in Our Stars), it turned out to be a unique story for everyone to purposefully fall for.
With Franco as the main star, he completely disappeared as Tommy. He always proved to be a hilarious actor (except when he co-hosted the Oscars). He just transforms into Tommy in a sense it doesn’t seem like an impression, but like an in the moment of becoming that counterpart very quickly as time passes. The first scene we’re introduced to him where he’s in this acting class was incredible. I’ve been a fan of Franco for a long time and this is his greatest performance since his Oscar-nominated role in 127 Hours.
Tommy Wiseau is a man of mystery when it comes to his personality. Many questions come to mind from us, and the people who work for him wants to know his age? Or where was he born because he said he’s from New Orleans? Where does he get all of this money to get this made (The Room had a $6 million budget)? The truth behind it all is that he’s a misunderstood human.
Dave Franco as Greg Sestero really surprised me since he’s sometimes hit and miss with some roles, but he shows off a lot of range into his character. The chemistry he and his brother was incredible. Even though they are real-life brothers, they seemed like different people in the film acting as two different actors.
There are other actors in here like Seth Rogen as the script supervisor; Ari Graynor as Juliette Danielle, the actress who plays Lisa; Alison Brie, Dave Franco’s wife, as Greg’s girlfriend, Amber, etc. And much more cameos that are surprising.
The comedy doesn’t fall flat at any moment. So many moments, especially from Franco, hit out of the park. I think for a large majority of the film, I honestly had a grin on my face really embracing the goofiness. Even when the drama hits, it never felt fake or anything. It showed Tommy became this dictator of a director when on set.
My favorites moments from this is when they are filming scenes from The Room. And the recreation of the scenes that were from the movie with different actors is very accurate. The best scene is where Tommy is forgetting one of the most infamous lines of the film, “I did not hit her, it’s not true! It’s bulls*it! I did not hit her! I did not. oh hi, Mark.” It was perfect for the first teaser trailer, and it was incredible watching it happen. Another part that seemed interesting is when Johnny laughs at Mark’s story about his friend end up in the hospital, he just laughs. Everybody, including me, was thinking that’s not funny. His response to that purpose was “human behavior”.
Even though this is all about making this film, it actually provides a meaningful message shown through the friendship between Tommy and Greg, which was completely unexpected. Both of them had their struggles with not getting parts and they wanted to make this movie together. Sure, the end product wasn’t exactly the way Tommy wanted it since it wasn’t intended to be a comedy, but it matters what they shared with each other with making their dreams come true. Made me believe that this friendship was real and it’s probably still is now.
This does a fantastic job of not just making fun of the film but also paying a kind of tribute to the film. Do people need to see The Room to follow through the inside jokes that will have fans laughing? I wouldn’t say so. You understand why this became a cult following after all these years. This is one of the best comedies of the year as well as one of the best this year.
The Disaster Artist explores the making of one of the worst movies of all-time by having this as a hilarious, yet inspiring and having heart comedy with a disappearing James Franco performance.