Miles of Movies: The Disaster Artist (2017)

By Miles Barber (CE ’18)

The Disaster Artist is about the making of the famously “so bad it’s good” movie called The Room. It starts with Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), whose shyness is starkly in contrast with Tommy Wiseau’s (James Franco) willingness to put himself out there. So Greg and Tommy, having been rejected by Hollywood, team up to make their own movie. The chaos and craziness that ensues is what makes up the meat of this film.

This film was quite entertaining. James Franco does an excellent impression of Tommy Wiseau and you really get why Greg Sestero wanted to work with him. He just has a fearlessness and a childlike innocence about him that makes him almost endearing, even though he does a lot of terrible things on the set of The Room.

Now, this film is an adaptation of Greg Sestero’s book about the making of The Room, so it’s told from Greg’s perspective, which is good because it would probably be very difficult to relate to Tommy if the film centered around him. Instead, you get to see all of the weirdness that is Tommy from an outsider’s perspective. Just as you have questions about Tommy (Where is he from? How does he have so much money? Where did he get it? How old is he?), Greg has these same questions and asks them. Unfortunately, the answers to these questions never come, as it seems that the truth is still a mystery in real life as well. 

If you’ve never heard of The Room, you might be confused by this film. If you’re like me and you think The Room is overrated and rather boring, you’ll find this film to be decent but nothing special. And if you absolutely love The Room, you’ll probably have a blast watching this movie. It tells its story pretty well and has lots of funny “behind the scenes” moments where you really come to understand Tommy Wiseau’s incompetence as an actor, writer, and director. It shows you that two guys with very little talent but lots of money can get out there and make a terrible movie. I suppose that isn’t very impressive by itself. What is impressive is the immense success they’ve had after the film’s release. While I enjoyed this film, I would have a hard time recommending it to anyone not familiar with the source material; it’s just not quite good enough on its own. ◊

Grade: B-

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