Film Reviews

The Disaster Artist (2017)

disaster artist.jpg

Starring: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Allison Brie

Director: James Franco

Back in the early 2000’s, a man called Tommy Wiseau made a film called The Room. It’s one of the weirdest, worst films ever. And yet… it’s so bad that it’s incredibly entertaining. It’s reached cult status over the years, and has regularly late night screenings around the world. This film is the story of that film, the mysterious man behind it, and the best friend, Greg Sestero, who came along for the ride.

The film starts with an acting class, with Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) trying hard to become a better actor. He finds himself fascinated by Tommy (James Franco) who seemingly has no fears of displaying himself. They become friends, then move to LA to make it big, and then, when that doesn’t really work, Tommy decides to just make his own movie that they can both star in. Hilarity ensues.

Tommy Wiseau is a strange figure. A man who claims to be from New Orleans, but clearly has an Eastern European accent. A man with seemingly limitless funds, but no one knows where they come from. His age, too, is a great mystery. He’s a man who is unafraid to put himself out there. Perhaps because he doesn’t know any better, perhaps because he doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He’s the Ed Wood of our age, and there’s something actually really sweet about the earnestness that he brings to everything he does. This film also shows that he’s not afraid to laugh at himself a bit either.

James Franco plays Tommy, an manages to really sink into all the idiosyncracies that Wiseau is so well known for. His brother James plays the more sane Greg, an actor who appears in The Room and who is Tommy’s long suffering best friend. I’m not sure how accurate this film is, since on IMDB Sestero had some OK credits to his name before he starred in Wiseau’s film, but the film shows us that he was an out of work actor who couldn’t open himself up and was attracted to Tommy’s wild confidence. But I think that’s kind of the point of this film. We don’t know a lot about Tommy really, he creates his own past, and you can either love him or hate him for it. This film shows that a lot of people love him, and if it’s not accurate, we really don’t care.

I really enjoyed this film. It has heart. Tommy is totally weird, and James Franco does a really good version of him. It’s really fun to watch the film being made and see the complete shock and incredulity of the cast and crew and Tommy writes, directs, stars, produces, dances around naked, shouts at everyone… He’s incredibly emotional, childish, silly, and yet kinda lovable too. In a sort of creepy way. And Greg is just doing his best, wondering what he got into, and trying to keep it all on track, and not always managing it. In that sense, it’s a film about one of those unlikely friendships that is pretty sweet in the end, and it’s also about listening to your calling and following your creativity, even if you have no talent. But most of all, it’s really hilarious.

See It If: you’ve ever had a dream, but wondered if you were good enough to make it happen. A must see for The Room fans, or Franco fans (fans of Dave or James). Genuinely hilarious.

 

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