“The Disaster Artist” A Film So Good It’s 'Tearing Me Apart!’
By Scott Kurland
Film: The Disaster Artist
Starring: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Ari Gaynor, Paul Scheer, Josh Hutcherson, Zac Efron June Diane Raphael, Jacki Weaver, and Jason Mantzoukas
Rated: Not Rated (R)
Director: James Franco
This may come as a shock to you, but I do enjoy the occasional bad film. I know... *gasp*- but it’s true. I, a film critic, have a habit of watching and, sometimes, loving bad films. One in particular is the 2003 Tommy Wiseau directed film “The Room.” Not to be confused with the Oscar winning drama “ROOM” with Brie Larson, "The Room” is widely considered to be the worst film ever made. Ironically, it's also a cult classic. The entire production cost Wiseau 6 million dollars and, much to everyone’s surprise, it has made back it's entire budget. I first saw “The Room” a year after it was released in 2004, when a small indie theater obtained a copy. A friend of mine told me that the worst movie in the world was playing just down the street and we all but ran to the theater. Given the overwhelming lack of interest in the film, the theater manager asked us if we wanted to stay for the other showings free of charge and we said "YES!" This week’s film is “The Disaster Artist” a behind-the-scenes biopic about the making of “The Room.” Let’s find out if it’s any good shall we?
James Franco stars as Tommy Wiseau; a mysterious man with a thick European accent who claims he was born and raised on the Bayou of New Orleans. Tommy has dreams of becoming a famous actor and attends theatre workshops where he forces audiences to witness his bizarre acting style. When Tommy catches the eye of classmate Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), the two hit it off and become scene partners and, eventually, friends. In an effort to find actual acting jobs, the two men move to L.A. Greg jokes that they should make their own movie; a gauntlet which Tommy is all too willing to pick up. Hundreds of takes, endless shouting matches and six million dollars later, “The Room” is born.
James Franco is the only actor who can play Tommy Wiseau. In truth, I think he’s a better Tommy than Tommy himself. With that said, Franco is the anti-Tommy in the sense that hes just incredibly talented in every profession he has ever undertaken. In just one year he was a college professor, a soap opera star and an artist. With credentials such as these, directing a movie about the worst film ever made seems like a no-brainer. Franco, along with screenwriters Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, crafted such a loving tribute about what it truly means to go after the American dream. The script, adapted from Greg Sestero's book is well written. I must admit, I am such a fan of the book that, initially, I was a little let down when I saw for myself what was excluded from the film. These changes didn't make sense until I came to the realization that the book and the film showcase two different mindsets. Greg's book naturally explores his own thoughts and feelings while Franco's film highlights those of Tommy.
What I loved the most about this film is how Franco filled his cast with all-stars including Efron, Hutcherson, Rogen, Weaver, and, his brother, Dave Franco. This film is absolutely bursting with talent. Franco even cast one of my favorite comedy actors Paul Scheer as Tommy’s first Director of Photography. I absolutely love Scheer's transformation from amenable employee to irate critic. This is a subtle and terrific performance; one of my favorites of the entire movie. Dave Franco was perfect casting as Sestero because the real Greg is like a brother to Tommy. Franco and Franco play off each other well. Their love for each other is necessary when it comes to putting the spotlight on a man who is difficult to love.
“The Disaster Artist” is a well made and superbly acted film about what some consider to be the “Citizen Kane” of bad movies. The Franco brothers knock it out of the park. The script is solid and this is, undoubtedly, one of the best films of the year. If you have never seen “The Room,” then begin your journey down the rabbit hole by watching
“The Disaster Artist." If you are already a fan of “The Room,” then this is the film for you. Go and see “The Disaster Artist.” I myself have drank the cool-aid and it went down smooth.
REVIEW RATING: A