THE DISASTER ARTIST (2017), based on the book of the same name by Greg Sestero, is a biographical-comedy depicting the making of THE ROOM (2003), which many consider the king of crap movies. The film is produced and directed by James Franco and also stars him as Tommy Wiseau, the seriously weird dude who invested a reported $6 million of his personal fortune to make THE ROOM. The result is a hilarious take on the making of the movie that is also full of heart.
I remember catching the trailer of THE ROOM back in the day and thinking, WTF? I couldn’t believe how ridiculous it looked, and Tommy Wiseau, who starred in it, struck me as unintentionally hilarious. While I skipped it, being the kind of guy who doesn’t really believe that a movie can be “so bad it’s good,” many people didn’t, turning it into a cult classic after its disastrous release. THE DISASTER ARTIST tells the inside story from the perspective of Greg Sestero, Wiseau’s friend who played second lead in the film, from meeting Tommy in an acting class to moving to Los Angeles to trying and failing to score acting jobs to making THE ROOM.
Tommy is a fascinating character. Nobody really knows where he’s from, how old he is, where he got his money. His look and accent are naturally humorous. He’s ridiculous in many ways, and childish and cruel when he feels unappreciated. Still, he’s extremely likeable. He believes in himself, exhorts his friends to be the best they can be, and is so damn earnest and carefree you can’t help but love him. James Franco really wanted to do this movie, and it shows. His brother gives a great performance as Greg Sistero, but Franco shreds every scene as Tommy. From the first scene to the last, you can tell Franco didn’t want to ridicule Tommy, playing him with a ton of heart. I can’t believe he didn’t get an Oscar nomination for it.
Overall, it was a surprisingly fun and funny movie from beginning to end. While I’ll still never see THE ROOM, I loved this movie about the making of.