This film is a paradox to report on. The Disaster Artist is essentially the behind the scenes look of The Room, the film that has garnered the reputation of the best worst film ever made, therefore I was wondering to myself how artistically truthful are the filmmakers going to stay to The Room through the filmmaking? So, if scenes were purposefully framed badly or the performances were not so great would that be because it was a bad film or an artistic reflection of the bad performances and filmmaking of The Room. Thankfully, The Disaster Artist has its own outlook on the Room and is both very informative of its story and characters to the audience and is most certainly a film for the fans of The Room.
Tommy Wiseau is one of the most mysterious figures in film, therefore, is the ideal character for audiences to sink their teeth into and get to know the man who refuses to give us his age, where he was born or where his money comes from. These questions remain unanswered and by the film’s conclusion I felt this weird conflicting perception that I did get to know Tommy, yet I had only scratched the surface of his personality. Don’t get me wrong, James Franco is masterful as Tommy Wiseau, perfectly capturing his mannerisms that make it feel like he’s on a different world and of course, very unique voice. Even thought there was still a big mystery into who Tommy is, I find myself in the unusual situation of being glad about it. I felt that if the film did reveal everything than the bedazzlement of The Room would have been lost so well done to the filmmakers for the respect shown.
The main attraction of the film is seeing James Franco as Tommy; however, the story is told through the eyes of Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) Tommy’s co star and best friend. Dave Franco is just as good as his brother as a character who got swept along for the ride that is Tommy’s planet. You do start to feel that his character deserves better as he is subject to Tommy’s lack of filmmaking knowledge and at times an absence of understanding others around him. His character though does end up in a better place despite all this, he starts as a wannabe actor with the anxiety that one must overcome to perform, then comes along Tommy who teaches him how to loosen up and go with the flow.
I love a good film about film. I believe that the most memorable stories put to the big screen often have stories themselves and The Room’s creation is just as wondrous. I’ve seen The Room more times than I’d like to admit, and I was still discovering new facts about the making of The Room to sink my teeth into. The film continues its respect for The Room by recreating, with great accuracy, famous scenes from the film. The framing, actor’s movements, the dialogue, all were near pitch perfect recreations of those scenes, the lighting was different but that to be expected with the technological advancements since 2003. You can tell that this was a real passion project for the filmmakers.
There were a lot of directions that this film could have taken, I was expecting a straight-up drama, but I wasn’t expecting for the film to sneak in a bit of docu-drama vibes into the film. there are many celebrity cameos, some who are themselves talking about The Room and Tommy (J.J Abrams & Kevin Smith to name a few) and some who have a direct effect to the story (Bryan Cranston), confusion did hit me from the start but just like Greg I went along with the ride, however I lost that docu-drama feel which threw in doubt over its placement to begin with. If you’re not going to stick with a style or at least let the style be felt by the audience.
I was a little disappointed that we never got to see more of the relationship between Greg and barmaid Amber (Alison Brie). It seems like a crucial character building moment that was glossed over and moved incredibly quickly so that we could get more of the behind the scenes of The Room. In fact, the film could have done both, there were a couple of moments where we see the effects of Greg and Amber’s relationship on Tommy’s friendship and how the fear of losing Greg turns Tommy more heartless toward the people around him. If the film had taken more time to let its audience understand the relationship between Greg and Amber instead of taking a big jump from stage to stage, it would have made the fear of losing Greg that Tommy has a stronger reason for character change.
The Disaster Artist remains a fantastic tribute to The Room. Reflecting on the film, you must watch The Room to better understand the people. James and Dave Franco shine incredibly in this film with a fantastic look on Tommy and Greg, part of me does wish that they get merited for their part in all this, especially James who not only starred but directed and produced The Disaster Artist. It was funny when it needed to be funny and it quite the heartwarming story. It’s a great message for those who have embarked on the mission to break Hollywood to think outside the box like Greg and Tommy did and forge your own path to notoriety. Like this film says James Dean never gave up on his dream and neither did these two.
Final Result: 8/10 – Very Good
Have you seen The Disaster Artist? What did you think? Please let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below
Next Time: Star Wars: The Last Jedi