The Disaster Artist
The Disaster Artist might not be James Franco's funniest film, but it's definitely his most interesting and unique. Franco captures just what it means to create through a comedic lens, depicting the real-life story of Tommy Wiseau's attempt to make The Room.
James Franco‘s The Disaster Artist is part comedy, part bizarre true story about writer/director/actor/possible vampire Tommy Wiseau as he attempted to make his first feature-length film, The Room. Franco directs and stars, while his brother Dave Franco co-stars, as well as Ari Graynor and Seth Rogen. The Disaster Artist might sound like another Franco and friends film that pokes fun at others, but the actual film is a telling tale of what it means to be an artist, creating something that’s completely your own vision, despite the naysayers. It’s funny, tragic, weird and downright amusing, thanks to the Franco Brothers’ performances and James Franco‘s general respect and interest in oddball Tommy Wiseau‘s life.
The Disaster Artist takes place in the late 90s, when struggling actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) becomes friends with the mysteriously old-looking young man Tommy Wiseau (James Franco). Almost immediately, Greg realizes that Tommy is a bit of a character, refusing to tell people where he is from, how old he is or how he made his money. But Greg sees something in Tommy that most don’t — he sees an artist with an uncompromised vision to create.
Together, the two set out to make their first movie — The Room.
In anyone else’s hands, The Disaster Artist would have turned out rather lopsided, no-doubtibly focusing on the weirdness of Wiseau and his inability to create something prestigious. I would only assume that if Franco’s buddy Seth Rogen were in the director’s chair, The Disaster Artist would’ve crumbled as just another comedy about a weird misunderstood guy that somehow managed to make the now cult-status film, The Room.
But James Franco is a much more interesting director. He completely gets lost in the role of Tommy Wiseau, often-times recreating scenes frame-by-frame, capturing the likeness of Wiseau in an almost scary resemblance.
The same can be said for his brother Dave, playing Greg with a slight pushover, slight desperate approach that makes it extremely hard not to like the guy.
Greg and Tommy are almost complete opposites, yet they attract like a set of magnets, with Tommy possibly caring for Greg a little bit too much. This is indicated throughout the film whenever Greg attempts to do something for himself and not the team. Tommy almost always denies Greg his own stardom or freedom, but welcomes him with open arms when it comes to collaborating together.
It’s only fitting that two brothers play the core characters. Their closeness shows as does their general ability to play off of each other almost perfectly. As a comedy, The Disaster Artist works, because of how it captures such a dynamic and unorthodox relationship and making-of for the actual film, The Room.
The Disaster Artist is definitely more interesting than it is funny. Seth Rogen and other Franco usuals show up, but in minor roles that simply add a joke here or there, never derailing the focus off of Wiseau and Greg.
The best part about The Disaster Artist is Franco’s sincerity and general interest in Tommy Wiseau as a person and as an artist. There are many jokes at Wiseau’s expense, but the film isn’t about making fun of him, but instead it tries to understand him.
Franco boldly tells a story about creating and how important it is to follow your dreams, despite virtually everyone telling you otherwise. It’s also about embracing interpretation and understanding that sometimes an artists work isn’t fully formed until their audience receives it and reacts to it.
The Room might be the greatest worst movie ever made.
Those looking for a typical James Franco comedy aren’t going to find much in The Disaster Artist. Franco asks a bit more from his audience this time around. Those willing to invest in the characters and the greater story just might find something special within The Disaster Artist.
The Disaster Artist isn’t James Franco‘s funniest film as a director or an actor, but it’s still very funny. It’s definitely his most sincere and unique, capturing the goofy magic of Wiseau like a true fan and admirer would. Franco’s performance is creepy in its authenticity and his brother Dave does a fine job playing the opposite, much more normal, yet equally conflicting Greg.
The rest of the cast is forgettable, but don’t let that discourage you. The Disaster Artist is a well-done bromance, depicting the making-of one of the most iconically bad and dumb-founded films ever to have been willingly conceived. It’s one hell of a ride that I’d suggest taking.