The Room is an enigma of a film; it’s a completely incompetent film in every way, yet it’s somehow one of the most widely discussed cult movies of all-time. There’s a quality to The Room that many “so bad they’re good” films don’t have, and it’s that the film is a product of genuine commitment and passion, and The Disaster Artist, the story of the film’s production, understands that. The Disaster Artist could have easily been a parody of what transpired, with The Room‘s creator Tommy Wiseau being the butt of the joke, but the film is a surprisingly earnest story of friendship and the pursuit of dreams.
The film follows the true story of Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), an aspiring actor who befriends the enigmatic Tommy Wiseau (James Franco), an unusual, yet committed actor who persuades Greg to move to L.A. with him. As opportunities of starring in Hollywood movies begin to dry up, Tommy begins working on The Room, which he directs, writes, and stars in. Greg is set to co-star, unknowingly committing to one of the wildest and weirdest film productions of all-time.
James Franco doesn’t look or sound exactly like Tommy Wiseau, but he perfectly captures the essence of what Wiseau represents; a headstrong, ridiculous, yet completely genuine person who’s ego is congruent to his heart. Franco captures the essence of Wiseau’s idiosyncratic humor, from his laugh to weird phrases, but he doesn’t make Wiseau a joke. Dave Franco also does a great job as Sestero, combining a reflection of the communal reaction to Wiseau with a genuinely touching look at their friendship.
The film recreates many scenes from The Room, offering intersting insights to fans of the film, yet standing on its own as a heartwarming comedy about the ultimate outsiders. It’s uproariously funny, with Franco’s antics as Wiseau and the overall ridiculous nature of The Room offering a steady supply of laughs, yet the core friendship is still quite sincere, with an ending that surprisingly ranks as one of the year’s more emotional scenes. The Disaster Artist is a story so crazy it’s almost unbelievable, yet for anyone who’s ever made a home movie or made something with their friends, there’s something that rings true. Grade: A