Review - 'The Disaster Artist'
The Disaster Artist is a movie that consistently pushes all of the right buttons. I'm a big fan of the so-bad-it's-good The Room and probably watch that film at least once a year when accompanied by friends and plenty of alcohol and I've always been drawn to the mystery behind the making of that film. The Disaster Artist seeks to answer many of those lingering questions I've had, while also being an (intentionally) hilarious and surprisingly heartfelt film in its own right.
The film follows Tommy WIseau (James Franco) and Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), two unlikely friends who have dreams of making it big in show business, but are denied at every turn. Due to Tommy Wiseau's seemingly bottomless pit of money, they decide to make their own film together. That film would end up being the cult phenomenon, The Room.
I could be wrong, but I don't think a movie like this has ever been made. The Disaster Artist is literally a comedic drama based off of the real events that went into making arguably the best worst movie ever in cinematic history. On concept alone, this is an intriguing offering and one that easily could have tanked in an embarrassing way if it didn't hit its intended mark. Thankfully, first-time director James Franco handles every aspect of this film with care and respect. The Disaster Artist is somehow hilarious, reverent and heart-warming in equal measures It also must be noted that even if you haven't had the dubious pleasure of seeing The Room, this is still an enjoyable crowd-pleaser for all parties.
Tommy Wiseau is such an anomaly of a character that you can't help but be drawn into what makes him tick. I never thought I would see a film like this; one that consistently makes me belly-laugh at the expense of its lead character, but also sympathizes and ultimately admires him, so much so that by the end it had me rooting for his success. The film also never lets up, there's no slow point in this film and its constantly throwing cleverly constructed scenarios at you with astounding consistency.
What helps sell this odd-ball premise is James Franco's performance as Tommy Wiseau. This is such a committed performance, and apart from a few moments where his accent dips understandably, I completely bought Franco as Wiseau. It must also be noted that Dave Franco plays the bright-eyed-and-bushy-tailed Greg Sestero pitch-perfectly. His camaraderie with Wiseau is endearing and their chemistry is believable and ripe for hilarity at every turn. There's also a suite of recognizable comedic actors filling in most of the supporting roles. Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Josh Hutcherson, Ari Graynor and Zac Efron all bring colorful performances to the table that add to the insanity at play in meaningful ways.
The screening I attended for The Disaster Artist was sold out, and it was one of the best audience responses to a film that I've ever witnessed. If the riotous laughter, spontaneous clapping and general high spirits of the crowd is any indication, this is a resounding success and an almost poetic victory for everyone involved.