They did it. They finally did it.
For those of you that don’t know… Christ, show me the rock that you’ve been living under. But anyway, this movie is basically about the making of the famously bad film THE ROOM (2003). What’s that? Well I hesitate to say too much, as the film is considered such a spectacularly bad flick that it’s actually quite enjoyable, but it’s about a man who is engaged to a beautiful girl who decides to have an affair on him with his best friend. Doesn’t sound like much, but the world of movie goers say this is well-worth your time. But how did I feel about it? Full disclosure, I enjoyed myself, but admittedly, I was a tick underwhelmed. I was expecting every scene to have to me laughing at how bad it would be, but instead, it’s only some scenes. Don’t get me wrong, there’s plenty to make fun of. The first half hour I’d swear was a softcore porn film. It was structured that way. Establish a scene, have sex. Establish a scene, have sex. The nudity is strictly that of seeing the woman’s breasts, but not the man’s outside of his ass, which even PG-13 films get away with. More or less, I found it to be more fascinating rather than enjoyable. I found enjoyment, but not consistently. More or less, I understand its popularity and will likely engage in conversations about making fun of it. But it’s not my favorite “bad film” by any stretch of the imagination.
Fast forward fifteen years later and the Franco brothers decided to get their hands on the story about the making of the movie. Well, I’m sure that’s not quite the case, but it’s funnier when I say it like that.
The story looks like it’s about the eventual writer, director, etc, of the future famous bad film Tommy Wiseau and his co-star and friend Greg Sestero, who meet in an acting class, strike up a friendship, and after facing humiliation and doubters, they decide to make a movie of their own and prove the nay-sayers wrong.
Here’s the cast. Starring, we have James Franco (ALIEN: COVENANT , SPRING BREAKERS , SPIDER-MAN 3 , and upcoming films ZEROVILLE  and THE PRETENDER ), who also directed the film, as well as Dave Franco (LEGO NINJAGO , 21 JUMP STREET , SUPERBAD , and upcoming films ZEROVILLE and IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK ), and Seth Rogen (NEIGHBORS 2 , THE GUILT TRIP , KNOCKED UP , and upcoming films ZEROVILLE and LIKE FATHER ). In support, we have Ari Graynor (WIENER-DOG , THE GUILT TRIP, and AN AMERICAN CRIME ), Alison Brie (THE LITTLE HOURS , THE LEGO MOVIE , SCREAM 4 , and the upcoming THE POST ), Josh Hutcherson (THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 2 , THE HUNGER GAMES , BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA , and the upcoming THE LONG HOME ), Zac Efron (BAYWATCH , THE LORAX , HAIRSPRAY , and the upcoming THE GREATEST SHOWMAN ), and Jackie Weaver (EQUALS , SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK , and the upcoming ZEROVILLE).
Now for the crew. Directing, we have J. Franco, known for directing a bunch of stuff that I’ve never heard of, but he’s slated to direct ZEROVILLE and FUTURE WORLD (2018). Co-writing the screenplay is duo Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, both known for PAPER TOWNS (2015), THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (2014), 500 DAYS OF SUMMER (2009), and the upcoming WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE? (2019). Composing the score is Dave Porter, known for SMILEY (2012), and TV shows PREACHER (2016 – ongoing) and THE BLACKLIST (2013 – ongoing). Finally, the cinematographer is Brandon Trost, known for POPSTAR (2016), THIS IS THE END (2013), CRANK: HIGH VOLTAGE (2009), and the upcoming CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? (2018).
Overall, I’m pretty sure I’ll like this enough. It looks good, and with the buzz surrounding it, I bet my expectations will be exceeded.
This is my honest opinion of: THE DISASTER ARTIST
Set in 1998 through 2003. Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) is currently an acting student hoping to one day make it big in the film industry. One day, he sees a bizarre performance by another student, the eccentric Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) that everyone else makes fun of, but Greg sees as brave. The two almost immediately become friends and not long after, Tommy convinces Greg to abandon everything and travel with him back to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams of becoming actors. But as time goes on, they either make too little, or no progress to the point where Tommy has the idea to make their own movie called, “The Room.”
Wow. Utterly fantastic.
Both Francos are incredible. Dave as Greg Sestero is wonderful. He’s so likable in the way that he sees Tommy as more than a joke, even though it’s incredibly easy to do so. He sticks by him when he’s at his weirdest, and even his most demanding and difficult, even if it costs him a job or a girlfriend. And that’s not to say that he doesn’t have his breaking points. He does get into fights with Tommy, both verbally and even mildly physically. But you see that the two have a legit connection that you want to see continue, which it clearly does in real life. And James as Tommy Wiseau is almost scary how spot on he is to the real man. The near deadpan “in a trance” stare, the accent, the laugh, his performance seamlessly shifts from hilarious, to heart-wrenching. One of my favorite scenes is when Tommy and Greg are in that restaurant reading from a play book. While Greg is trying to be respectfully quiet, Tommy is loud and over-dramatic. At a glance, you’d swear to God that Tommy is mentally handicapped. But he just doesn’t care and in the end, he’s trying to get Greg to care less as well by getting him burst out with bravado and energy that he feels he lacks in his own acting. The scene works beautifully as it cleverly foreshadows their relationship in the future. It’s about Greg learning to break out of his comfort zone and Tommy pushing him to be the artist that Greg himself wants to be and vice versa. Tommy will be unorthodox, even downright embarrassing, but ultimately they complement each other in ways that neither of them expect and come to rely on each other for support and motivation. It’s a great relationship built upon layers and layers of complications, but is ultimately funny, inspiring, but wholly sincere, which carries the entire movie. I especially love how the movie’s actors recreate THE ROOM’s actual scenes, beat for beat and line for line. It’s really quite humorous how dead-on they were with them.
I think the only reason why it wouldn’t have made my Top 10 list is because, well, there’s a reason why this is a quick review. If the movie was more impacting, in the sense of the whole movie being memorable and me being able to talk about it for a long time, as opposed to only a couple of scenes and only able to say so many times how I like the characters and how they interact with each other. But I highly recommend this film to everyone, and no, you don’t need to see THE ROOM in order to enjoy this. It’d be a good idea so you can get the jokes, but it’s still a fantastic stand-alone story about perseverance and chasing dreams, as well as fun insight into how to make your own movie… granted, if you have one or two million dollars to waste, but hey, TANGERINE (2015) exists, so you can probably get away with more than you think. I would love to see this again and if you haven’t seen it, catch it while it’s still in cinemas for a limited time. When asked if you’ve seen this film, don’t be the person who says, “I did naaaaaht.”
My honest rating for THE DISASTER ARTIST: 5/5