Oh hai everyone.
First of all, you cannot watch The Disaster Artist without first "treating yourself" to a viewing of The Room, a film which has grown to become arguably THE cult movie of the past two decades. The Room is, and I think this is a decent enough analogy, a large, tacky, cruise ship being steered towards every iceberg around by the bizarre captain known as Tommy Wiseau and, unsurprisingly, a number of people were left adrift in its wake. It had terrible acting, an awful script, strange unerotic sex scenes shoehorned in, and set decor that was bizarre, to say the least.
Greg Sestero, one of the people involved in the making of The Room decided to write a book about the experience, getting everything down in one volume co-written by Tom Bissell, and titling it "The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made". And that's how we eventually get to this film.
What could have easily been full of either easy laughs or more merciless digs at the walking oddity known as Tommy Wiseau has instead turned out to be quite a joy. It's a film that celebrates the strange, almost even admiring the fact that even the most misguided singular vision is still an undeniable . . . vision, and it allows Wiseau to remain an enigmatic figure while showing how everyone else ended up giving such uniformly poor performances.
The script, by writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (who have
worked together for a number of years now), blends the background of the
movie and Wiseau with a number of moments that viewers will know to
expect. You don't go into a Saw movie without expecting some
deathtraps that also test the morals of those caught up in them, right?
And nobody would go into a film about the making of The Room
without expecting to see a few of the most popular/infamous moments from
that movie. Everyone involved knows that, and they deliver.
James Franco, who directed the film, stars as Wiseau, and he certainly has a lot of fun in the role. It's an impression, for the most part, but it's hard to fault, especially when you think of Wiseau himself always seeming to be putting on a performance for everyone around him. Dave Franco plays Greg Sestero, and he does well in the role, and there are substantial roles for Seth Rogen, Ari Graynor, Alison Brie, Jacki Weaver, and Josh Hutcherson, among others. Everyone does their best at recreating moments from The Room, yet they also all work well together when acting in the moments that don't show the acting, if you know what I mean.
You only ever have to watch The Room once, I hope (I have ended up seeing it twice now *shudder*), but an extra reward for enduring it is that you can now follow it up with this. So we should be thankful to everyone involved.
The Disaster Artist can be bought here.
Americans can buy it here.