By Jordan Yeager
The Disaster Artist is a film that chronicles the making of what has been dubbed “the best worst movie ever made,” Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. It explores not only the creative process behind the film’s conception, but also the experiences and emotions leading up to Wiseau’s eventual decision that, if no one was going to cast him in a leading role, he would write, direct, produce, and star in that role himself. Perhaps ironically, James Franco took on similar tasks with The Disaster Artist, directing, producing, and starring in the film as Wiseau. And he does so effectively – the film puts The Room, a movie best known for its convoluted plot, questionable directorial decisions and laughable acting, into a light that allows us to maybe, kind of, start to understand Wiseau’s thought process. Throw in strong performances from supporting cast members and a slew of unexpected cameos, and The Disaster Artist becomes arguably one of the best films of 2017.
It all begins when Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) meets Wiseau in an acting class and is inspired by his fearlessness on stage. After asking Wiseau to coach him, the two bond over their shared dreams of big screen stardom and soon move to L.A. together. But ambition isn’t always enough to make you the next James Dean. When Sestero, disillusioned by rejection, wishes they could just make their own movie, Wiseau’s eyes light up: the seed that would eventually sprout into The Room has been planted.
The Disaster Artist is hilarious and diligently crafted, but ultimately it’s an insight into Wiseau’s motivations, dreams, and human traits that have evaded audiences for so many years. The man is infamously enigmatic, having adamantly lied to the public about his age (he claimed to be in his 20s when The Room was filmed, but in reality was likely in his 40s), his birthplace (Poland, not New Orleans), and how he made the millions of dollars he used to fund the project (to this day, no one knows for sure).
From makeup to wardrobe to body language to accent, Franco’s portrayal of Wiseau is so flawless that at times it becomes almost impossible to discern any differences between the two. He inspires empathy – by taking us behind the scenes of The Room, we come to learn that Wiseau knows he’s different. He wants to be loved and accepted, but most of all, he wants to create a Hollywood film that reveals him as the hero he knows himself to be, rather than the villain society has cast him as. Even if you haven’t seen The Room, you’ll enjoy The Disaster Artist.comedy, Dave Franco, film review, James Franco, Seth Rogen, The Disaster Artist