MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: “The Disaster Artist” stars Dave Franco (Now You See Me, Neighbors), James Franco (Pineapple Express, Spider-Man ), Seth Rogen (Superbad, Knocked Up), Ari Graynor (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Whip It), Alison Brie (The LEGO Movie, Community [TV series]), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook, Animal Kingdom), Paul Scheer (The League [TV series], Veep [TV series]), Zac Efron (17 Again, Charlie St. Cloud), Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games, Zathura), June Diane Raphael (Unfinished Business, Year One), and Megan Mullaly (The Kings of Summer, Will & Grace [TV series]). It was directed by James Franco, while the screenplay was written by Scott Neustader ( Days of Summer, The Spectacular Now) and Michael H. Weber (Paper Towns, The Fault in Our Stars). Based on the book that detailed the production of the worst film ever made, Greg Sistero (Dave Franco) forms an unforgettable friendship with a peculiar fellow named Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) as they head out to L.A. to forge their path in acting, hoping to find success and live out their dreams.
“The Disaster Artist”
“This my movie…and this my life.” I can’t tell you all how long I’ve waited for this film (granted, I saw it towards the end of its theater run). Since my senior year of high school two years ago, I’ve been in the know of the movie adaptation of Greg Sistero’s “The Disaster Artist.” Finding out that James Franco took up the project made it all the more interesting. I haven’t seen any of his directorial work, however I think he is a wickedly talented filmmaker by studying the projects he takes under his belt. Sure, he’s certainly pegged for his bro-comedies, but underneath the weed, Seth Rogen laugh, and outrageous partying lies a soul that yearns the cinema craft. I had full faith in the man to make something worth seeing when it came to the behind the scenes work of “The Room,” and I think I got what I wanted. For those of you who don’t know what “The Room” is, it’s essentially the worst film ever made. Before Sistero released the book that eventually became a feature, no one knew why a man would create such a monstrosity in cinema; or better yet, how he was able to. There were many questions on my mind, as there were for many fans of “The Room.” Once you watch the piece of glittering garbage, it’s hard not to dive into the mythos of what went on behind the scenes. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t read the book beforehand. When it comes to movies that are based on literature, I typically watch the film first; it’s more so that I can watch the release without being able to readily predict what will happen next. Of course, there are downsides to this, where I can’t truly analyze if the flick respected or followed its source material, but when it comes to “The Disaster Artist,” I think I can slide by without prior reading. From what I’ve seen across the Internet, Franco said that he took most of what was written in the book and added in his on elements. What those were, I have no clue. From what I understand, Tommy’s life is so strange that anything Franco added couldn’t be more ludicrous. Onto the film itself, “The Disaster Artist” unfolds in a way that you probably wouldn’t expect. I would hardly consider it a documentary, but rather a story of two newfound friends trying to make their way in Hollywood. It’s a narrative at heart, because what we as an audience want more than a glimpse into the production of “The Room” is a deeper understanding as to who Tommy and Greg are. The all-encompassing questions seem to fall on who Tommy is, and while many of those most desired were left unresolved (where is he from, how old is he, where did he get his money), we learned what he was like behind the camera and in the social surrounding of a simple man like Greg. It’s all from Greg’s perspective regardless, because there were hardly any moments where it was just Tommy alone. Though comedy was a strong push in formulating this feature, the inner core of the story was rather sad. No one has to be working in Hollywood to understand how difficult it is to get a foot in; it’s like that with any job. Tommy and Greg went through a lot of crap starting out, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them. Greg had to put up with the nonsense that is Tommy Wiseau, and in most cases the man cost Greg a somewhat established career. Tommy, on the other hand, was given a bad deal in the industry. No one considered him to fill the role he wanted to: a hero. As a result, Tommy wrote his own script that made him the character he dreamed to be. The pacing of this film was rather smooth. Obviously, the whole runtime isn’t filled with the entire production of “The Room.” Really, only the second act details the process of filming it. Those held some of the best scenes, primarily because it’s why I wanted to see this movie in the first place. Even those who haven’t seen “The Room” would get a kick out of seeing how terrible the script actually was when it was being shot. Everything else was all to develop Greg and his friendship with Tommy, while throwing in a plot device regarding the stubbornness of Hollywood as a whole. While I did enjoy watching this in its entirety, I will say that the biggest flaw was to be found in how much time was given to each respective plot device. This movie clocks in at an hour and fifty minutes; I stated before what the feature is made up of, but because of the runtime we aren’t really given enough depth in each particular aspect (at least for me). I wanted to know more about Greg and what he was doing after the filming of “The Room.” The filmmakers juggled between him and his friendship with Tommy in creating their horrible film, but when all was said and done, I wanted to see more. Little pieces strung out throughout the picture, like Greg’s agency, his mom, and his decision over “Malcom and the Middle,” were brought up in a moment’s time, only to be left behind in a flash. While focusing on these pieces may cause filler, it would give me a better understanding of Greg as an individual rather than how he reacts to Tommy. Thankfully, Dave Franco’s performance takes us a little deeper than what’s on the surface. Not enough to where I wouldn’t like to have the development aforementioned, but enough to where it isn’t a huge ordeal. The same could be said about the other actors’ performances. Everyone did a surprisingly good job, with the best being James Franco as the infamous Tommy Wiseau. He essentially became Tommy, and not for a moment did he lose sight of that. His work as a director was actually pretty solid; it wasn’t terribly unique, but it fit the design of the story. Anything else to mention would include the nice musical score composed by Dave Porter. The man did his fair share of fantastic work, crafting the brilliant main theme for “Breaking Bad,” and he doesn’t disappoint here. In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed “The Disaster Artist.” While I would’ve died for more content to better shape the characters, I think what James Franco made satisfied my expectations. Getting a chance to see what it was like behind the scenes of “The Room” was enough to make this worth seeing, and the effort to actually establish a deeper theme was an added bonus. If you have yet to see this, and have seen “The Room,” do now while there is still time. FINAL SCORE: 90%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer:
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