James Franco’s The Disaster Artist is a biographical comedy-drama based on one of the worst movies of all time, The Room.
Make no mistake I’m not referring to the Lenny Abrahamson thriller Room that stars Brie Larson, but instead Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 cult movie. It received such poor reviews at the time that it quickly gained cult status as a tragicomic disasterpiece.
Franco transforms the true-story of the aspiring filmmaker and infamous Hollywood outsider Tommy Wiseau into a celebration of friendship, courage and artistic expression.
Sick of being rejected for movie roles Tommy (James Franco) decides to write, direct and star in his own masterpiece. But his expectations don’t match up with reality and although his passion can’t be questioned, his methods and somewhat unorthodox.
Along with his best friend Greg Sestero (played by Dave Franco) Tommy continues with his movie, throwing money at any problem that arises. We’re never told how old Tommy is, where he’s from or how he got to be so rich. It’s all part of what makes his character so intriguing.
Franco stays true to Sestero’s non-fiction chronicles of his time on set. The end credits treat us to a side-by-side comparison of The Room and The Disaster Artist. This shows the level of detail Franco went to in his role as director and actor to ensure that he replicated Tommy’s vision. There’s even stories that he would direct scenes in character to realistically portray the manic way the director worked.
If The Room is “The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made” then The Disaster Artist is the greatest adaptation of a terrible movie.
Unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, The Disaster Artist is a movie about a movie, from inception to creation to release. This is a movie that explores what it means to truly follow your dreams despite the consequences.
This isn’t your typical stoner-comedy that we have become used to seeing Franco in, it’s a movie with heart and extreme attention to detail. There are funny moments, but for the most part you’re concentrating on the drama of it all and the purposely awkward scenes throughout.
By Ruth Walker