The Disaster Artist: Film Review

James Franco hadn’t been in much memorable stuff since 127 Hours in 2010, but he changed that around this year with both TV series The Deuce and The Disaster Artist. His performance in the movie, which he also directed and produced, is his best in years and he definitely deserves a Golden Globe nomination (an Oscar is too far).

He plays Tommy Wiseau, the mysterious and bizarre wannabe actor living in San Francisco. At an acting workshop, he meets the younger Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) and they move to LA and try to make it in the business. Greg has the typical all-American good looks but still fails to get many parts while Tommy is snubbed over his gothic vampire-like appearance and odd accent (thought to be Eastern European). They decide to write and make their own movie, The Room, and the rest of The Disaster Artist follows its troubled production and reception.

The Room was released in 2003 and has been dubbed one of the worst films ever, achieving cult status in the process. I saw it recently at the Prince Charles Cinema in London, where it is regularly screened. The whole crowd makes fun of how bad the film is and it would be easy for Franco to do the same, but he doesn’t. He really makes us feel sympathy for Tommy and feel bad that his vision didn’t quite pan out.

Franco’s portrayal is excellent. He has the look, accent and movements down and throws himself into the project 100% and without vanity. It is uncanny how closely he resembles Wiseau sometimes and you forget it’s Franco occasionally. Dave Franco not so much – he’s good and sweet and it’s nice to see the real-life brothers working together, but he doesn’t look much like Greg.

The support cast is incredibly strong too – with highlights including Seth Rogen as script supervisor Sandy, Alison Brie (Dave’s actual wife) as Greg’s girlfriend Amber, Josh Hutcherson playing Philip Haldiman/Denny, Zac Efron as Dan Janjigian/Chris R.,  Ari Graynor as Juliette Danielle/Lisa and Jacki Weaver as Carolyn Minnott/Lisa’s mum Claudette. It helps if you’ve seen The Room and know who they are supposed to be. It’s not essential to see it before but I would recommend it as you will get more of the injokes and references.

This film has a lot of heart and is so funny. I laughed out loud a ton. The cast and script are high quality, it is so interesting to see what went on behind the scenes and the soundtrack is brilliant – I left in the mood to dance.

In selected cinemas Friday 1st December, nationwide 6th December 

Trackbacks

  1. […] The Room first helps but it isn’t essential. Thoroughly enjoyable. You can read my review here. Released: 1st December in some cinemas, 6th December […]

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