Directed by James Franco
Reviewed by Brandon Bishop
“Do it for you.”
The Room released in 2003 to dreadful reviews. Terribly written and horrendously acted, the film had very little going for it. As it aged, The Room gained somewhat of a cult following. It’s infamous director, writer, and star, Tommy Wiseau, is independently and mysteriously wealthy. His age is unknown, and no one knows where he is from. The Disaster Artist, starring and directed by James Franco, chronicles the making of the cult classic, adapted from the book of the same name.
James Franco plays Tommy Wiseau and James’ younger brother, Dave Franco, plays Tommy’s best friend Greg Sestero. Tommy and Greg both star in The Room. Both of them deliver fantastic performances. James in particular really shines as Wiseau. The make-up and accent distract a little at first, but Franco quickly settles into the head of Wiseau. He gives a spellbinding and nuanced performance that isn’t quite like anything you’ve ever seen, perfectly capturing Wiseau’s mannerisms while also exhibiting an impressive range and complexity. Fears that his performance, and the film as a whole, would prove a satirical mockery of Wiseau and The Room can feel assuaged. James Franco, through his performance and the film, affectionately examine the eccentricities of Wiseau and the tribulations he and the crew endured to get The Room made. James and Dave work well together, and they are well-supported by a myriad of famous talent in minor roles and cameos. Seth Rogen and Alison Brie shine in small but important roles, and we get excellent cameos from the likes of Zac Efron, Judd Apatow, and others
The whole film boasts this affection. The Disaster Artist sets out to encourage its viewers to follow their dreams, no matter the cost. Themes of friendship, hard work, failure, success, and ambition permeate and fill every scene of this movie. The film opens and closes with pseudo-documentary scenes expressing nothing but appreciation for the impact of The Room and a passion for filmmaking. The Disaster Artist stands up for everyone who has tried to pursue a dream or reach for the impossible and does it with a lot of heart.