BY RYAN MACKETT
THE Disaster Artist is an absurdly delightful film that tells the true story of how Tommy Wiseau and friend Greg Sestero defied all odds and made one of the worst films ever, The Room. The movie is based on the book of the same name written by Sestero (played in the film by Dave Franco) along with Tom Bissell. The film was directed by James Franco, who also stars as Wiseau. The absurdity of the whole situation is the type of thing that you couldn’t make up, in spite of the fact that Franco and his friends would have been the guys to come up with it.
The story is essentially that of two friends doing everything within their power to achieve their dreams of becoming famous movie stars. It was a heartfelt film loaded with big laughs. Although not necessary, it would help to have seen The Room before seeing The Disaster Artist, if only to appreciate just how amazing a job Franco and company did with this film.
For those who are unaware, The Room is a 2003 film that Tomy Wiseau wrote, produced, directed and starred in. It is known for being absolutely horrible, yet it has a cult following and is regularly screened for its unintentional comedic value. Wiseau insists that he intended for the film to be a comedy all along, however most of the cast and crew find that hard to believe. Most interestingly is that Wiseau is extremely secretive about where he’s from (he claims to be from New Orleans), how old he is and how he is so wealthy. All of this is well-represented in The Disaster Artist.
James Franco did an incredible job with this film. He was absolutely terrific in his portrayal of Wiseau; people who are unfamiliar with the real-life Wiseau would probably assume that Franco was playing some sort of spoof or over-exaggerated interpretation of the man, however his portrayal is scarily accurate. The rest of the cast was also fantastic, and features the likes of Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Josh Hutcherson and Zac Efron.
It’s unsurprising to me to see how much critical acclaim this film is receiving. It is most definitely an oddball film about the making of an even odder film, but it has so much heart and so much talent behind it, I can’t help but feel that most audiences will resonate with it on some level. There is a great YouTube video called “The Best of The Room” that I highly recommend watching before seeing the film to add to the experience, especially if you are unable to find a copy of The Room. Highly recommended.