The Disaster Artist.
In the early 2000s, an eccentric millionaire named Tommy Wiseau wanted to make a movie called The Room. I’ve never seen this movie, which should hopefully you give a good idea if you need to see this movie as a prerequisite. Let’s dive in.
The story really follows young actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), who struggles in acting classes because of his constant worry about people’s opinions. When he meets Tommy (James Franco), this all changes and he hopes to learn from this eccentric oddball how to put himself out there. The two of them begin making a movie called The Room, which turns out to be a very bad movie. We also have a supporting cast of notable talent like Seth Rogan, Zac Efron, Josh Hutcherson, Alison Brie, Ari Graynor, Paul Sheer, and more.
This is an incredibly bizarre movie about an even more bizarre movie being made, so this does require a certain penchant for the weird. James Franco is the talking point that will be continually brought up, as his performance here is absolutely bonkers, made even weirder due to the fact that he’s impersonating a real person. It starts off weird, like an extended SNL skit, but it evolves into something much more tragic and surprisingly realistic. James Franco does an outstanding job here, disappearing into the weirdest role he’s ever played (and that’s saying a lot).
The heart of the movie is actually Dave Franco. These two brothers obviously have an incredible chemistry and Dave is the one reminding us of the reality of this situation. He’s relatable and interesting and it’s intriguing to watch a normal guy try to coexist with the eccentricity of Tommy Wiseau.
And while we watch The Room get made, I was still able to understand enough without ever seeing it. This could have been a fictional tale, for all I knew, and it would still be an outstanding piece. Even without context, this movie was hilarious. James Franco’s performance as Wiseau was weird and alienating but often hilarious. This movie is a comedy at its heart and had me laughing nonstop.
The supporting cast is also pretty incredible, bringing in a lot of big names and recognizable “Oh that person!” cameos. You can tell the Francos tapped into their social capital to get some friends on the set.
What doesn’t work?
The only distracting thing was a weird fake beard that they gave Dave Franco for the second half of the film, which looked like loose hair glued to his face. Extremely distracting.
You also might be a bit too alienated by Tommy Wiseau, as it’s hard to really root for the guy when he comes across as a loon and a creep. Some of you might veer towards “I don’t want to watch this guy anymore” and that’s totally understandable.
The Disaster Artist is pretty amazing, featuring a performance from James Franco that will define his career. It’s hilarious from start to finish and is completely bonkers, ideal for those of you that want to watch a character piece about the weirdest character you could imagine. It can be off-putting but I found the journey incredibly satisfying and an overall good time.