The (In)Famous Masterpiece – The Disaster Artist (2017)

The fame of Tommy Wiseau’s “The Room” is one of a kind.

James Franco’s film tells the story of the making of “The Room”, knows as the worst movie ever made. Two film enthusiasts – Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau – meet each other in acting class. Once their efforts to become film stars fail miserably, they decide to make their own creation – the most bizarre piece of cinema in the history.

Although it has premiered years ago, it still generates such buzz that festival screenings are always sold out. Everybody wants to witness the cinema-defining scenes, like “You’re tearing me apart, Lisa” or “Oh, hi Mark”.

Bearing this in mind, “The Disaster Artist” faced a relatively difficult task – whether to make a fan film, a drama condemning the awfulness of the source material or straightforward comedy. It chose to do a bit of everything, which ended up an intelligent, heart-warming and sincerely funny film.

“The Disaster Artist” focuses on two topics, that correspond to distinctive approaches to one story. The first, that absorbs the director more profoundly, is the relationship between Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau, the shining stars of “The Room”. Though they seem to be each other’s opposites – first one is a shy introvert whilst the latter a charismatic weirdo – both share the same dream of paving their way in the film industry. However, there is a significant difference between Greg and Tommy. It’s what drives them to pursue this dream. Greg is fascinated by acting, soaked in the magic of theatre.

What drives Tommy is far more heart-wrenching. On the surface, there are weird accent, a rare ability to be awkward at all times and chains wrapped around his waist. Deeper, there is just a lonely planet, orbiting far from anybody else. Not only is he a disaster as an artist, but also as a fulfilled man. The moment he finds a way to make a connection, he is ready to go poker-like all in. “The Disaster Artist” is paramount in exhibiting this extraordinary relationship. How the two protagonists float away from each other, because of most prosaic reason – life taking place.

The conflict of interests between Greg and Tommy is firmly portrayed by the Franco brothers. Both did astonishing job, but the eye-catcher, the showman and the absolute star is James. He mastered his role, blending in the figure of Wiseau with utmost confidence. He understands that this role could easily be blown out of proportions. Thankfully, James Franco’s role is richly nuanced. Tommy is an affluent, layered character and this portrayal varies from comedy to drama.

Although Dave Franco remains in the shadow, his role is equally difficult – as introvert Greg, he worked on a character less entertaining for the viewer. Yet, the actor managed to carry the responsibility for film’s drama layer. In order to make it all work he had to be out of the spotlight.

On the other hand, “The Disaster Artist” is a fan film.

Because you can’t talk about the allegedly worst film in the history without “hilarieyes”. I loved the idea of breaking down the most confusing and hysterical parts of the cult classic. The fact that Lisa’s mother announces breast cancer, which is never brought back again (and to which Tommy refers to as “plot twist”) or the peculiar role of Denny in the “The Room”.

Furthermore, the star-studded cast is also a treat – the presence of Jackie Weaver, Bob Odenkirk, Seth Rogen or even Zac Efron makes the film even funnier. The structure of the comic parts is also smartly designed. “The Disaster Artist” can target both the fans of Tommy Wiseau’s classic and those, who never had the pleasure to watch it.

In the beginning of the film, several actors and directors – among them Kevin Smith and Adam Scott – share their thoughts on the sheer genius of “The Room”, as if giving grounds as to why “The Disaster Artist” was made in the first place. Every person, who watched it, was probably wandering about a plethora of things – how was it financed, why was it that bad? Obviously, “The Disaster Artist” is a film made by fans, paying tribute to a peculiar kind of cinematic phenomenon. But most importantly, it is a genuinely funny, heart-warming film about dreams that come true. As corny and kitschy as it sounds, it really plays the very right tune.

The Disaster Artist (2017)

Dir. James Franco

Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen and even Tommy Wiseau

Hate Grade: 2/10

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