Before I get into it, a small disclaimer: if you plan on watching this film or reading reviews regarding The Disaster Artist then I feel it is paramount that you watch The Room (2003) first, it’s something everyone should experience before they die… of breast cancer. (WATCH ‘THE ROOM’ FOR THESE REFERENCES)
The Disaster Artist is the film adaptation of the true story novel written by Greg Sestero, this comedy film is acted and directed by James Franco alongside his brother Dave Franco. The film follows the journey of two best friends and their dream to make it big in Hollywood by creating their own movie, all with no prior experience – which turns out to be the best worst movie ever made. James Franco plays the leading role of the now legendary Tommy Wiseau, a man renowned for being the mind, money, and face of what is considered to be the worst film ever produced.
What I truly found to be the most entertaining reality about this comedic “spoof” (and I use that word very loosely here) is that this film is in no way a spoof or parody; what you see is what you get, the characters played are real, this story is real, and even after knowing all of that, it’s still rather difficult to comprehend that someone like Tommy Wiseau actually exists, this film makes you appreciate that thought. This isn’t just a comedy that flawlessly captures the bizarre events that transpired during the creation of The Room, it also pays a dear homage to Wiseau by working as a spiritual recreation of what Tommy Wiseau envisioned his film to be. This film represents many of the feelings that Wiseau wanted to express in his film The Room – like selflessness, jealousy, hate, anger, and love – with some genuinely heartfelt moments and life lessons to offer up.
I would be lying if I said that James Franco exaggerated his performance – if anything, there are times where he’s holding back. Franco plays his character better than many of the true story films released recently. From his harsh yet distinguishable accent, memorable laugh, and almost childlike tendencies – Franco has lived and breathed this man’s life and in the process created an imprint of Tommy within himself. James Franco has mimicked a man so well that you genuinely forget Franco isn’t Tommy – his hunched walk, lazy eye, and broken accent all work in unison to bring this performance to an arguably Oscar worthy level. With a supporting role from his brother Dave Franco who plays Tommy’s best friend Greg, we are given the bulk of the film’s emotional moments through his character. Dave Franco plays off James Franco’s character in such a perfect way that there isn’t a moment where you’re bored, they are in essence the fire and water to each other, just as Tommy is to Greg. Both of the Franco brothers brought a different flavour to the table in this buffet of comedy and I truly wouldn’t have it any other way.
This film was endlessly entertaining, and for not a moment was I taken out of this whacky experience; structurally the film was solid, though there are times where some added visual imagery could have been used, in a basic sense. The makeup for James Franco’s portrayal was outstanding, from his paralyzing lack of fashion sense, to his iconic long black hair. The work put into Franco resembling Wiseau is the bulk of what was primarily impressive, though we get some fantastic recreations of the sets on the film and accurate representations of the characters appearance in multiple aspects. Not much variety in terms of cinematography and music, but it mattered little in the context of the film.
Capturing the ludicrous anomaly that is the legendary Tommy Wiseau is something truly special – this film stands atop as my favorite comedy of the year and James Franco has gained my respect as a director in this journey and effort to truthfully show this insane true story. Hahaha what a story! As ludicrously funny as it is bizarre – The Disaster Artist is exactly what you want out of a movie about the worst movie ever made – proving that the worst attempts can become the best living examples. James Franco has been granted entrance to the great halls of comedy by tearing me apart in pure hilarity in the most unconventional way.