The Disaster Artist
Starring James Franco, Dave Franco, Zoey Deutch, Sharon Stone, Bryan Cranston, Zac Efron, Alison Brie, Seth Rogan, Melanie Griffith, Josh Hutcherson, Judd Apatow, Jacki Weaver
It’s hard to describe what this movie is, but one thing for sure, it’s one of James Franco’s best films behind the camera after a long continuous stream of junk. It’s also a career best for Dave Franco (Nerve) who has long struggled to find a role that provided a substantive challenge. There is a film called The Room (2003) by independently wealthy Tommy Wiseau, someone you’ve likely never heard about. It’s known as the worst movie ever made, so bad in fact, it’s reached cult level status and has virtually been on tour around the world since its release. So of course, James Franco (In Dubious Battle) decided to make a film about Tommy, exposing how this entire thing came into existence. Franco has cast nearly every actor he’s ever worked with in some capacity for the film which had a rapturous SXSW debut.
In what was a random encounter at small town theater audition, Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) met impressionable young actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco). Greg was drawn to the way Tommy put everything out there for the audience to see, never shying away from his bizarre voice or off putting looks. The odd couple leave the San Francisco area, headed to Tommy’s other apartment in Los Angeles to become actors. They become best friends, roommates and then partners on a film that Tommy has written called The Room, which they both will star in. It ends up costing over $6 million dollars with a heavy shooting schedule that will test the bond between the friends, not to mention their sanity.
James Franco’s best film behind the camera.
The state of mind and voice patterns James Franco sustains on this film is extraordinary to capture the nature of Tommy (he even runs comparison scenes side by side after the credits to show you how good he is). That along with directing the film (rumor has it, he stayed in character on and off camera) is one of his more impressive duel contributions. It’s very distracting in the early part of the film with the two Franco brothers, who look so similar, playing two unrelated characters despite their altered appearances. James long flowing black hair was less distracting than Dave’s paste on golden blond beard and bizarre hair color. Thankfully their performances transcend many of the low budget distractions.
The Disaster Artist, much like The Room, can be both admired and despised simultaneously. Ironically what Tommy Wiseau did, and in turn what James Franco has manifested from that, isn’t too far from Meryl Streep’s Florence Foster Jenkins character. So bad it’s good kinda thing. That brings us to the most important question, if someone comes into The Disaster Artist without any knowledge of what they are seeing, will it be so horrible they never make it to the end to understand how incredible The Room even exists at all? Or will this retelling only work for those people already aware of Wiseau. Twitter erupted after the screening, Warner Bros already on board distributing, Oscar buzz was even mentioned for James performance. It’s certainly the type of performance that’s unforgettable and nearly bookends the type of insane performance we saw from him in Spring Breakers, this just happens to be a better film.
Both Franco’s shine in this ridiculous true story about the worst film ever made.