The Disaster Artist Movie Review


Jake Ditto , Staff Writer

I was hooked the moment I saw the first trailer for The Disaster Artist. This film is based on the book by the same name about how the cult classic movie The Room was made. It follows Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) and Tommy Wiseau (James Franco), who both want to make it big in Hollywood. They both struggle to find acting roles and eventually decide to make and fund their own film with Tommy’s mysterious fortune.

The Room is a cult classic (and hilarious due to the fact that it is also considered one of the worst films ever made) that people love and adore to this day. There are still midnight screenings that get sold out, so it was important that James Franco made a solid film about it, and he did. Throughout I was laughing and then started to feel bad about the characters and their struggle as actors. I not only felt bad about their struggle, but felt bad because the two loveable leads started to increasingly resent each other.

I have heard a lot of critics talk about James Franco’s performance and how great it is, and I completely agree. I would even go so far as to say that he deserves an Oscar nomination for the performance. It is noticeable that James Franco studied Tommy Wiseau’s performance in The Room and spent a lot of time with Wiseau. His accent is perfect and he even gets the Wiseau laugh right. The first time we see Franco as Wiseau, it is in an acting class where he performs in front of everyone and it gives you the tone the rest of the film will have, showing how extravagant and fearless Wiseau really is. He is also just as mysterious in this film as he is in real life, with him keeping his birthplace, his money and his age a secret.

Something that really surprised me was that James Franco wasn’t the lead, but instead his brother Dave was. The trailers, posters and basic knowledge of The Room, leads you to think that James Franco is the lead, but because Greg Sestero wrote the book, Dave Franco is the lead. I also am not hearing any praise about Dave Franco’s performance, and I don’t know why. He gives the best performance of his career. Throughout he struggles with people asking why he is friends with Tommy and even struggles with staying on the set of The Room and he and Tommy’s growing discontent with each other.

I also didn’t expect how inspiring and heartbreaking the film was going the be. Tommy Wiseau’s character just does what he wants throughout, from rehearsing a scene in the middle of a restaurant to making his own film. He didn’t care what people in public thought about him, and did what he thought was best, even if it clearly wasn’t. It[/sidebar]was also heartbreaking and the best example of this is when the first screening of The Room  was being played toward the end of the film. Once The Room started playing, Tommy immediately starts to get a reaction he wasn’t expecting. Everyone in the audience starts laughing at how bad it was. Seeing Wiseau’s reaction was one of the most crushing and saddening scenes of 2017.

Another thing that was great about this film is how the recreated scenes are shot. After this film is over, there is a side by side comparison of the scenes from The Room and the same scenes that The Disaster Artist recreated and it was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. The framing of the shot, the placement of the actors and the actors’ movements are almost exactly the same. Those five minutes alone are some the most memorable parts of any movie this year.

There is decision that I found interesting and is that the film is primarily shot using a handheld camera. There are other films where I don’t think it’s necessary to use a handheld cam, like Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker or Zero Dark Thirty, but I feel like it adds something to the movie. It makes the film feel like a documentary.

If you are interested in watching this film, I would recommend either watching The Room or have some sort of background knowledge about the film. If you haven’t seen The Room, then there are scenes (like when Tommy is shooting the “I did not hit her” scene on the rooftop) that you won’t understand.

Although I loved this film, I do think that the first 20-30 minutes drag a bit. There are times, like when Tommy meets Greg’s mom  for the first time that I found very entertaining, but then there are times like when Greg gets signed by an acting agency which never gets brought up again that aren’t entertaining to watch. The film does start to be incredibly entertaining as soon as the script for The Room is written.

The Disaster Artist is a film that serves justice to the cult classic and is one of the best films of the year, although you should watch and know about The Room before you go to the theater.

Grade: A