When Greg Sestero, an aspiring film actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true.
Going down as one of my all time favourite actors today, a film starring James Franco is almost enough reason alone for me to go and see it. He’s truly pulled off an incredible variety of roles over the years such as real life Aron Ralston in 127 Hours or Alien in Spring Breakers, never fearing both the dramatic and eccentric in opposite worlds. Not to forget some memorable comedy performances from Pineapple Express and Why Him? too.
The Disaster Artist has James take on the outlandishly true story role of Tommy Wiseau, both the spotlight star and brains behind the tragically loveable absurdness of the 2003 “drama” The Room. Much like Wiseau himself with his own movie, James has also taken the creative means to direct this one, doing so with the most engaging insight possible. Within the first few minutes I was hooked into what I knew would be nothing short of amazing.
Some brotherly love is sparked with Dave Franco in the shoes of Greg Sestero, better known as Mark in The Room. Coming from a genuine family background, the incredible chemistry he has with James is something to admire in the way it’s played into capturing Wiseau and Sestero’s off-screen friendship. Not only is his co-starring with James the perfect fit of character, he has also captured the relatable struggle of an actor trying to push forward in a competitive world of casting.
As if the bond between Dave and James wasn’t enough in terms of authenticity, Dave’s wife Alison Brie (Community) steps in as Sestero’s girlfriend Amber, playing into a handful of well-served moments.
Known to pair up with James in the past, Seth Rogen plays more of a backseat role as script supervisor for The Room. His usual comic genius is toned down a notch but works well as to avoid stealing away too much from the centre spot of cringe-comedy throughout the production scenes.
Aside from the higher roles, there’s a wonderful variety of other notable cast scattered around such as Zac Efron, Josh Hutcherson, Sharon Stone, Bob Odenkirk and so many more. As a fan of Comedy Central’s Nathan for You, I’m still buzzing about the fact that Nathan Fielder took some time away as a saviour to struggling businesses for the role of Kyle Vogt.
In terms of the actual story itself, it’s incredible to learn how much dysfunctional hilarity was packed behind a movie that looks arguably like very little effort. I admire the way this reflects on the often long and sometimes grueling process of working in film production, even without the chaos. While the intended drama of The Room is more of a classic cult comedy, the take-home message is that good things come from hard and dedicated work, even when they don’t turn out as hoped for or planned.
Normally I wouldn’t recommend The Room to anyone, but to get the most out of The Disaster Artist I find that it does pay to have seen its plot-driver film. The accuracy of reenacted scenes for an already existing movie are insanely spot on as something else to love.
Hysterical and heartfelt with such groundbreaking truths. This is a making-of movie for The Room that people would actually want to check out.
DVD Releases: 11th April 2018
Rating: M – Contains offensive language
Duration: 104 minutes
Starring: James Franco, Tommy Wiseau, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Kristen Bell, Zac Efron, J. J. Abrams, Bryan Cranston, Adam Scott
Director: James Franco (The Institute)
Greg Sestero stated that when he was writing the book, Tommy Wiseau said that only two actors could play him in the adaptation: James Franco or Johnny Depp.
Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero gave their approval to the casting of Dave Franco as Greg Sestero.
James Franco described the script as "a cross between Boogie Nights (1997) and The Master (2012)" (both films were written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson).
James Franco spoke like Tommy Wiseau throughout each day's filming, and even directed using Wiseau's distinctive voice and syntax, though Jason Mantzoukas said that Franco did not direct in character and only spoke like Wiseau. Seth Rogen admitted he had a hard time being directed by Franco while being interviewed on The Howard Stern Show. Rogen said during the first two days, he had a hard time containing his laughter as Franco was speaking as Tommy Wiseau with his notable European accent. Franco told Rogen he would get used to it, which he eventually did.
The film received a standing ovation after the premiere at the SXSW film festival in March 2017.
James Franco was mentioned in "The Disaster Artist," the book on which this film is based.