In 2003, the mysterious Tommy Wiseau delivered one of the most bizarre cinematic experiences in history, the cult film, “The Room.” Considered by many as one of the worst films of all time, “The Room” still gets screened in theaters worldwide, and oddly enough, the shows are almost always sold out. Now, in 2017, James Franco delivers a film chronicling the troubled production of “The Room” with “The Disaster Artist.”
“The Disaster Artist” stars James Franco as director, writer, producer, and star of “The Room,” Tommy Wiseau as he and his best friend Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) try to become famous actors in Las Angeles. Throughout their journey, the two’s friendship is put to the test when Wiseau becomes jealous of Sestero’s girlfriend (Alison Brie) and the production of “The Room” becomes increasingly stressful.
Franco delivers one of the most memorable performances of his career as Wiseau. He nails the look, voice, and general aura that the aloof Wiseau gives off. Franco is also able to capture the broken look that can be both hilarious and downright heartbreaking. Similar to Wiseau’s credits to the original film, Franco directed, produced, and starred in “The Disaster Artist”, making it all the more easy to compare the two actors. It’s also nice to see Franco excel as a director, proving that he is just as talented behind the camera as he is in front of it.
The film itself is a triumph in the sense that it is able to successfully balance comedy and drama. There were moments in this film that made me laugh harder than many other films, as were there moments where I felt like crying. It’s an excdellent piece of cinema capturing the beauty of both friendship and the importance of following your dreams, even if they don’t come out right.
The film is not perfect, however. With an all-star cast that includes Seth Rogen, Paul Scheer, and Josh Hutcherson, it never feels like any other actor wants to be there as much as either Franco brother. Not to say that it’s a bad supporting cast, just an unmemorable one given who it consists of.
Although Wiseau’s original film is remembered for its terrible story, horrific acting, and quotable dialogue, Franco’s adaptation of how it was made never will be. With an amusing script, superb acting, and an unbelievable sense of surrealism, “The Disaster Artist” not only captures the appeal of “The Room,” but also adds all the elements that make for great cinema.