The Disaster Artist is a movie about a movie called The Room. The Room is one of the worst films ever made. However, it is so uniquely terrible that has slowly picked up a cult following since it was released 2003. Much like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Room still has midnight screenings with loyal fans that dress up and act out inside jokes. They also toss spoons at the screen. Fun times.
The Disaster Artist is directed by and stars James Franco. In a bizarre twist of fate, Franco isn’t one of the super fans of the film. He fell in love with a book written by Greg Sestero, one of the starring actors from The Room. The book has the much more aggressive title The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. Greg played Mark of the “Oh, Hi Mark” fame.
The movie could be called An Apology for Tommy. The film doesn’t follow the reality of the book that paints Tommy as a monster and Greg as someone who was only in it for the money. Instead, Franco recasts the pair as a misguided duo that is trying to follow a shared dream of making it big in Hollywood. Franco’s Tommy is like Frankenstein’s monster. He is a big creature that is just trying to survive in a world that doesn’t understand him as much as he doesn’t understand it. You can tell that Franco feels some odd kinship with Tommy.
It makes me wonder if his choice to cast his brother Dave as Greg was to help build up their on-screen connection.
However, this all kind of falls apart when the movie has to start covering how Tommy acted during the filming of The Room. His treatment of the crew, cast, and most of all Greg is terrible. The Disaster Artist gives a world of reasons to dislike Tommy, but it still ends asking for sympathy for Tommy before the credits roll.
Emotionally this is a bizarre film. It is a love letter from one weirdo to another.
It is also pretty funny if you like the Franco/Rogan style of humor. All of the best laughs happen while they are recreating moments from the original movie. In fact, they show side by side comparisons of classic scenes just before the credits.
I don’t think this film is a comedy. It is something you will roll around in the back of your mind. The character of Tommy is something that will stick with you.
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