The Disaster Artist: The best movie about the creation of the worst movie ever?
James Franco, star of the 2010 biographical survival drama, 127 Hours, will now be seen as a quirky new character in his upcoming film, The Disaster Artist. Based on Tom Bissell and Gred Sestero’s award-winning book of the same title, James’s latest venture is actually a recapping account of the making of Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 cult classic, The Room.
Wiseau’s melodramatic romance is commonly deemed as ‘the worst film ever made’. From the shoddy direction and production, to the script and acting (or lack thereof), every single aspect of the film received negative reviews from critics and viewers alike. It was reported that audiences were either laughing throughout or asking for refunds after bearing the film for just 30 minutes, making it no surprise that the movie initially only grossed about $1,800.
Wiseau, who was the writer, director, producer and the star of the show, was perhaps unable to manage all his responsibilities. Though the budget for his magnum opus was around $6 million, it seemed as if nobody, including Wiseau, cared about the script’s loopholes or the production’s ambiguities.
As a Pakistani, watching The Room might remind you of the singer Taher Shah, and the infamous music video for his song Eye To Eye, which earned a similar unsavoury reputation for its pointless lyrics and its outrageous direction. Just as Shah had an unusual getup with long curly locks, Wiseau’s jet black wig was also the highlight of his infamous film.
On the contrary, director cum actor James’s retelling of the making of this movie has secured positive previews from critics thus far. He has superbly portrayed Wiseau – balancing his real life and relationships with the awkward making of his unfortunate film about friendship, achieving your goals and going after your dreams in Hollywood.
The story shows the ambitious young actor, Sestero (Dave Franco), whose encounter with the eccentric Wiseau at an acting workshop in San Francisco quickly turns into a friendship. The duo’s individual traits, for instance, Sestero’s rigidity and Wiseau’s oddities, remain the main reasons why both their careers are failing.
Because of this, both decide to try making a film together, the result of which is The Room. Wiseau plays the lead character while Sestero walks off with other key role, the cheating best friend. However, during the making of their film, Sestero notices his friend’s foibles and sees that he is, in fact, a talentless man.
As the director, James has meticulously delivered an entertaining film on a subject that nobody was willing to touch. The movie has a stellar cast, including his brother Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Alison Brie, Sharon Stone, and Melanie Griffith.
As the protagonist, however, James steals the show – looking almost as bizarre and narcissistic as Wiseau himself did in his own film. From his weird behaviour to his unusual voice and awkward laugh, James aptly illustrated his character’s engrained timidities.
The scriptwriters, Michael H Weber and Scott Neustadter, who have previously written films like 500 Days of Summer and The Spectacular Now, very poignantly present The Disaster Artist as its own film, while at the same time maintaining the grip of the book, as well as small details from The Room.
All in all, The Disaster Artist is a film that looks as hilarious as it feels depressing. The movie is all about Wiseau’s solitude and sorrow, his helplessness, his self-absorption, and most importantly, the aspirations of a narcissist who did not actually possess the capabilities he believed he did.
The Disaster Artist will release in selected theatres on December 1, 2017, and if you are a fan of the stellar cast or belong to the cult that loved The Room, then this film is a must-watch for you!
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.