One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. It’s a cliché line that would cause most college professors to bump this story down a few letter grades but it is simply the perfect way to describe “The Disaster Artist.”
The film depicts the making of the most famously bad movie ever, “The Room,” that was written, directed and starred the mysterious Tommy Wiseau. Wiseau is a man whose past is shrouded in mystery, intentionally so, but has great wealth and drive to become a Hollywood star.
Wiseau’s unique mannerisms and accent are perfectly portrayed by lead and director James Franco who plays him alongside his real-life brother Dave who portrays Tommy’s friend Greg. The pair embark together to Los Angeles to fulfill their shared dream of making it big time in Hollywood.
The only problem was they aren’t good at acting. So after repeated attempts to drive their way into the industry, Tommy and Greg decided to make their own path in by writing a movie titled “The Room,” self-funding it from Tommy’s wealth, the source of which is still unknown.
The fact that this ridiculous feat isn’t fiction but instead something that created what is widely regarded as the worst movie of all time and has gained a cult following for being such makes telling the story of how it was made that much more entertaining.
James Franco plays Wiseau so perfectly that it’s believable that this man is actually crazy enough to believe what he is making is good. The film explores the enigmatic actor/director’s past as well as the most intensive investigative journalists have and does a good job of acknowledging its mystery while still keeping in mind that it’s not the core message to the film.
Its core message is the drive people have to fulfill their wildest dreams and how sometimes passion can blind simple reason. It’s a heavy one but it translates perfectly through Franco’s ability to make an absolute horror show of a production into something the audience can laugh from.
The film accurately portrays Wiseau’s inexperienced filmmaking from buying the equipment instead of the normal industry methods of renting to rejecting essentially anything someone with filmmaking experience had to say while on set to set up a comedic train wreck.
Franco’s ability to poke fun at Wiseau’s ability as a writer, director, producer and actor without seeming petty or too mean is a perfect example of how “The Disaster Artist” balances the line of comedy while still having a real sense of the driving force that made Wiseau and Greg Sestro even attempt it in the first place.
The film portrays “The Room” as something that should be rightfully mocked but also something that had real heart behind its intentions that everyone can relate to. Who wouldn’t fulfill their dream if they had the resources to do so?
With a supporting cast of Seth Rogen, Josh Hutchinson, “The League” star Paul Scheer and, yes, even Zac Efron, “The Disaster Artist” packs a powerful yet comedic punch that delivers a film that will make the viewer laugh but feel for those who were involved in the perfect disaster.
The Franco brothers’ ability to play off each other and translate the struggle Greg feels to make a good film with Tommy’s unique quirks adds yet another level to the film that brilliantly portrays the complications of movie making.
James Franco’s portrayal of the enigmatic Tommy Wiseau and the film’s overall cast pairs well with its comedic nature to create one of the most enjoyable viewing experiences of 2017.