Starring Dave and James Franco Anyone who has seen a movie called “The Room” will know that it’s one of the worst films ever made and yet the people responsible believed it to be a masterpiece.
It’s this combination of once-in-a-generation incompetence that turned a sloppy melodrama into a fascinating and funny farce which is the story behind “The Disaster Artist” directed and starring James Franco. We see Tommy Wiseau’s infamous film as a springboard for a story of friendship and creativity. In 1998 in San Francisco, Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) is an aspiring actor who is wowed by a performance from his eccentric and fearless fellow acting student Tommy Wiseau (James Franco). Hoping to learn from the enigmatic Wiseau, Greg and Tommy strike up a friendship and eventually move to L.A. to try and make it as actors. When they both struggle, Greg suggests they should make their own movie. Tommy, who is wealthy, backs the movie and also writes the script, direct, and stars. With production on “The Room” underway, Greg and Tommy’s friendship begins to crumble underneath the strain of Tommy’s insecurities.
The fabulous script has an incredible amount of empathy for Wiseau. And it is essential that we care about him.
He’s weird, arrogant, and he has no business writing, directing, and starring in a movie, but we kind of love him anyway, especially because Franco leans into his vulnerabilities.
The world rejects Wiseau, and that rejection further deepens how much he needs Greg who is pretty much a normal guy, so every time Greg pursues an interest like his career or a romantic relationship, Tommy reacts poorly, which further strains their friendship. Dave Franco has the unenviable task of playing the straight man, and he makes for a good audience substitute while his brother in real life, James disappears into Tommy Wiseau and really showcases all of his eccentricities and bouts of loneliness.
“The Disaster Artist” finds a surprising honesty that goes far beyond simple appreciation for the cult movie “The Room” which was made for a mere $6000 and initially only took $1200 at the box office.
Viewers who have seen “The Room’ will get a little bit more out of this expose still it isn’t essential, as we see how the film came into existence and how the two leading players created a friendship and relationship turbulent as it was, that did create a small piece of celluloid history.
Rated M 8 out of 10