Movie Review: The Disaster Artist
By: Morgan Gilmer
“The Disaster Artist” boils down to a star-studded remake of “The Room”. Yes, “The Room”. That movie that audiences call “the worst movie ever” before promptly paying to watch it again and again and again. Funny enough, James Franco starred in, directed, and produced the film – just like Wiseau did with “The Room”. Since it’s flop of a box-office release, “The Room” has garnered one of the biggest cult followings, attracting worldwide audiences for years, and it’s gotten to the point where they actually made a movie about the making of the movie.
Based on a true story, James Franco stars as Tommy Wiseau, a raven-haired, man of mystery who comes to San Francisco following a “severe accident” to learn acting. No one knows where he’s from, how old he is, or where his money comes from. He meets Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), an anxious teenager who dreams of acting as well, and the two develop a friendship that culminates in Greg moving into Tommy’s apartment in Los Angeles so that both men can pursue their dreams of acting. After the reality of Hollywood hits them, Greg makes an offhand remark about how they ought to make their own film. The movie takes off from here, chronicling the creation of “The Room”.
If you haven’t seen “The Room”, “The Disaster Artist” will mean very little. Certainly, it is still a story of friendship and of making it big in Hollywood, but the movie was meant to be little more than an ode to one of the most bizarre movies of our time. But for those who have seen “The Room”, who know Wiseau’s idiosyncrasies, and who do that weird thing where they throw spoons at the screen, “The Disaster Artist” is worth a view.
Like “The Room”, it’s a movie that should be watched in a group. The entire theatre practically lit up as James Franco traipsed around the set as Tommy Wiseau, recreating some of the highlights of “The Room”. Alone, it’s easy to grow bored and begin to question why you started watching the movie in the first place.
The movie brings nothing of real value to the audience. Instead, it views in a way that recreates that feeling of an inside joke being told at a party. You still laugh, but you can’t help but wonder if that’s because everyone else is laughing. The movie seems to have been made more for its cast and crew than for an audience, but that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad experience. You can tell the cast is passionate and love what they’re working on.
It’s hilarious, but most of the hilarity comes from the spot-on recreations of the best scenes in “The Room”. It’s fan-service. Just about every side character is a big name in Hollywood. In case you were worried, yes, Seth Rogen is in this film. Other big names include Josh Hutcherson, Alison Brie, Zac Efron, and Bryan Cranston (as Bryan Cranston)
Overall, the movie was funny, and it showcased one of the most interesting movies of the century – one that has been analyzed and viewed (arguably) too many times for the actual quality of the film itself. Bring a friend or two if you plan to go; it’s definitely not worth watching alone. “The Disaster Artist” is certainly far easier to sit down and watch than “The Room”, but isn’t that what gives “The Room” its charm?