FILM REVIEW: THE DISASTER ARTIST (15) SHOWCASE CINEMA DE LUX PETERBOROUGH, OUT NOW
CAST: JAMES FRANCO, DAVE FRANCO, SETH ROGEN, JOSH HUTCHERSON, ALISON BRIE, MELANIE GRIFFITH & ZAC EFRON
RUNNING TIME: 1 HR 44 MINS DIRECTOR: JAMES FRANCO
One of the best films of the year – about one of the worst films ever.
A few years back, someone said to me: “You’ve not seen Tommy Wiseau’s The Room? You call yourself a film buff?!”
After a simple search online, it was clear that many considered it to be one of the worst films ever made – with most watching it for the experience.
I immediately purchased the cult movie to see what all the fuss was about – with the film still getting dedicated screenings in Los Angeles to this very day, despite being released in 2003.
The self-funded ‘unintentionally funny’ flick saw Wiseau write, direct, produce and star. It seems ironic that when James Franco (The Rise of the Planet of the Apes, 127 Hours, Pineapple Express) chose to tell the story of the making of ‘The Room’, he also decided to write, direct, produce and star. And acted alongside his brother Dave (Bad Neighbours, Now You See Me) too.
Talk about tempting fate.
Luckily, what we have here is a much better film.
The Disaster Artist is based on a book titled ‘The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Film Ever Made,’ which was written by Greg Sestero (who plays Mark in the original film, and is portrayed by Dave Franco here).
It tells the true story of two wannabe filmmakers, Greg and Wiseau, becoming unlikely friends after meeting at a San Francisco acting class. And after failing to hit the big time, they decide to make their own movie.
Why do so many people consider The Room ‘the Citizen Kane of bad movies’ and how did it become the cult hit it is today?
That in itself will give spoilers away, and it is intriguing to watch it unfold under Franco’s guidance here.
Franco was right to cast himself in the movie. Many actors would have portrayed the main character as a fool – someone to be laughed at – but instead he captures his endearing and loving side.
When The Room didn’t become the film Wiseau had hope it would be, the filmmaker was heartbroken.
Franco can show us this array of emotions perfectly – which can’t have been an easy task knowing what a ‘closed book’ Wiseau is in real life.
There are, of course, many nods to the original which fans will appreciate, but The Disaster Artist – which has a whole host of star cameos from Franco’s Hollywood buddies such as Seth Rogen and Zac Efron – works regardless of whether or not you’ve seen the source material.
And after this fine piece of artistry – which has deservedly notched a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture: Musical or Comedy – it comes highly recommended you watch both.
Rating: 4/5 – Mikey Clarke