Those who know me know that I’m a huge fan of “The Room.” The 2003 film written, produced, directed and starred by Tommy Wiseau is an enigma. It’s one of the only films I can think of that is so bad it’s actually good (feel free to read our *completely serious* review here). Since its abysmal release in 2003, “The Room” has become a cult classic with screenings all around the world. On Dec. 1, James Franco and Seth Rogen released a new film about the making of “The Room,” called “The Disaster Artist.” The film is also based on Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell’s book by the same name.
“The Room” is commonly regarded as the best worst movie ever made. It is about a man named Johnny whose future wife is cheating on him with his best friend. The film is interesting because the individuals involved actually thought they were making a great film. This innocence sets it apart from other “so bad it’s good” movies such as “Sharknado,” which are self-aware. Just watch this scene from the film, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Just like Wiseau did for “The Room,” James Franco directed and starred in “The Disaster Artist.” Knowing Franco and Seth Rogen’s other films, I was concerned that they were going to make a joke out of “The Room.” The book is quite emotional, so I was hoping that the duo and the rest of the production team would do it justice. I’m happy to say that “The Disaster Artist” exceeded my expectations. This movie is incredible from start to finish. Everyone involved clearly put so much passion into creating this project, which is ironic considering the team that created “The Room” didn’t put much effort into it after its first few days of shooting.
Tommy Wiseau spent a reported $6 million on “The Room.” No one knows his actual name, where he’s from or how he even got the money to finance such a big production. There is so much mystery surrounding this man that he became the kind of complex role that actors dream about. Franco stars in “The Disaster Artist” as Wiseau. I believe this role allowed Franco to pull off his best performance yet. He could have easily made Wiseau a joke because of the accent and the mystery surrounding Wiseau’s origin, but Franco dives deeper than most actors would. He humanizes Wiseau on such a level that viewers easily connect to him, despite Wiseau’s eccentric personality. This really shouldn’t be overlooked. Moreover, he owns the multifaceted nature of Wiseau, and respects him in all aspects. Franco is hilarious, malevolent, heartbreaking and electric throughout. If he doesn’t get nominated (and win) Best Actor at the Oscars, I won’t know what to think.
The rest of the cast also gives 110 percent. Dave Franco plays Sestero, Wiseau’s co-star and friend. The film is centered around their friendship, and the two brothers have a clear chemistry. All aspects of their friendship are explored, and it’s not always a happy relationship. However, at the core of their friendship lies the ambition to be successful. Early on in the film, Wiseau and Sestero make a pact to push each other to reach greatness. In a series of twists and turns, there really is a light at the end of the tunnel, and the two finally make their mark on Hollywood in an interesting way.
Seth Rogen plays Sandy Schklair, the film’s script supervisor. Rogen pretty much plays the role of the audience — the fourth wall. He reads through the script and states what we’re all thinking: that how none of it makes any sense. Moreover, he has to deal with Wiseau’s volatile personality.
Juliette Danielle, the actress who played the character Lisa in the “The Room,” is played by Ari Graynor. You really feel sympathetic for her for having to deal with Wiseau on set, but her determination as an actress keeps her going even on the worst days. Alison Brie is in the film as Amber, Greg Sestero’s girlfriend at the time. The relationship between Sestero and Amber ultimately becomes tied to the film, and its repercussions extend into the final cut we see in “The Room.” The film also sees small but powerful performances from Josh Hutcherson as actor Philip Haldiman and Zac Efron as actor Dan Janjigian.
“The Disaster Artist” is a testament to filmmakers who have the passion to create no matter what people think about them or what is thrown their way. Regardless of the final product, this man had a vision and created a phenomenon. How many people can say they’ve done that? I was inspired by how relatable the film’s characters are. Making art is a daunting task, but at the end of the day, even ordinary people can make something extraordinary.
At the end of the film, they show some side by side comparisons of “The Room” and “The Disaster Artist,” and it’s priceless. The timing of every shot is nearly perfect, the recreation of the cheesy production design and bad acting is amazing. Also, I highly recommend you stay until after the credits — you’ll thank me later.
Even after thinking about “The Disaster Artist” constantly for a day, I really couldn’t think of many flaws. This film is getting some serious Oscar buzz, and it’s produced by A24, which won Best Picture for “Moonlight” last year. If this gets nominated for Best Picture at next year’s Academy Awards, it would be one of the most ironic things to happen in Hollywood. A movie about the making of the “worst” film ever was truly a masterpiece.
That is my review for “The Disaster Artist!” What do you think about the movie? Do you agree or disagree? Do you think I should have mentioned something? If so, feel free to let me know in the comments section! Thanks!