The Disaster Artist (2017)

Director: James Franco.
Starring. James Franco, Dave Franco, Ari Graynor. USA. 1h 43m.

Back in the haze of 2003, the Room was a total joke, an instant flop when it was released. Over the years there was a surge gags about it, appearing on Space Ghost coast to coast as an April fool’s prank, TWICE but slowly there came some encouragement as YouTube channels searched for the worst movies of all time, each one listed The Room but not as the bottom of the pile, but as the Best of the Worst, fondness was growing for a film often panned for being terrible in every department. Following the original release; co-star Greg Sestero wrote a book about the bizarre construction of this film and the mysterious man behind the project entitled The Disaster Artist, this heightened the now cult status of the movie and inspired James Franco to deliver this movie and have the chance of starring as his all-time favourite director, the legendary Tommy Wiseau!

Some of the most important questions remain unanswered like; which planet Wiseau is from but there was a lot of revelations, deeply personal ones and it comically and sentimentally illustrates what a nutty, determined and genuine soul Tommy is, one who spent millions on making his magnum opus and had his own heart breaks and fun while doing it, but just make sure you get his ass in the next shot.

Greg is a mostly out of work actor to crosses paths with an enigmatic character, Tommy while auditioning for a role, his idea of drama is to scream lines from old movies while pretending to be Marlon Brando or James Dean, they strike up an unusual friendship, Tommy seems to be loaded with cash and has multiple apartments, flash cars and is on a totally different level, he’s strange, outgoing and possibly brain damaged from a car accident but he means well and he’s a man with a dream and he’s about to make this come true. Greg is mystified and intrigued but once filming starts everyone involved realises they are working with a volatile man who walks the line between genius and madman.

This isn’t the first time a supposedly terrible movie has sparked fascination with fans and other directors, Tim Burton did all of this with Ed Wood and Plan 9 From Outer space (1959) but with Burtons attempt to uncover the baffling choices and pitfalls of making an independent movie, the director Ed Wood emerged as a passionate creator but in this Wiseau is still a joke, one re invented with great detail by Franco, although it would have been brilliant to have seen some badly dubbed scenes as Wiseau seems to constantly have to redub as he speaks his own language. Franco obviously did his homework but not only reading the book but by watching Tommy probably on YouTube for hours, but his stalkerish behaviour has paid off.

Working from a script that adapts the book for its goofy moments rather than the deeper personal elements, it’s more comical than I feel it needs to be, Franco does an remarkable impersonation of Wiseau, although one that is more accessible and certainly easier to understand. The really bad costumes which makes regular actors into the cult stars of the Room are purposely shoddy and it fits in with the look and feel of making a bad film. The crew almost lose their shit over the retakes of scenes that Tommy originally wrote and failed to act, but they do work out that there is an endless pit of money and milk it for what they can.

From the trailers I knew this wasn’t going to be all that serious but I was surprised by some of the depth that the film reached while maintaining it’s ludicrous exploits of a bizarre production and man. The room already has a lot of fans, who probably all read the book and watched this too, probably with the same expectations as the Room, it won’t be brilliant but it will be fun to watch. It could have gone that extra mile and has a Doom style quick fire spoon round.. actually that would make an awesome game… The Doom Room, Room of DOOM!!

Rating 6/10

RThe Room (2003), Ed Wood (1994)
L – Films about Film,
A – The Room.. Need I say more?
5s – James Franco
Vs –  Tommy Wiseau Vs James Franco as Tommy Wiseau.
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