Arts movie review

From disaster to laughter

‘The Disaster Artist’ transforms ‘the worst film you will ever see ever in your entire life’ into a humorous uproar

The Disaster Artist
Directed by James Franco
Written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Starring James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen

In 2003, The Room, written by, directed by, produced by, and starring Tommy Wiseau was released and grew to popular acclaim as “ the worst film that you will ever see ever in your entire life.” Fascinating enough as it is to its cult-like following for being so outrageously terrible, it is even more fascinating for the story behind its creation. An exploration of that story comes in the form of The Disaster Artist, directed by and starring James Franco, a film about the making of the worst film ever created.

The Disaster Artist is everything that you would expect from a Franco film: uproariously funny, with Seth Rogen (of course) and star-studded cameos throughout. If you are expecting a film showing off Franco’s outstanding looks, however, look elsewhere. Francois suited up in a full prosthetic face throughout the film, making him almost indistinguishable from (although still undoubtedly more attractive than) the real Wiseau that fans will remember from The Room. Even without the makeup, however, Franco plays the role as though it was made for him, capturing the accent, mannerisms, and idiosyncrasies of the character superbly. As co-actor Paul Scheer and writer Michael Weber describe, “Franco was fully Wiseau from the first reading.”

But the movie is not just about capturing the making of The Room or even of trying to answer the questions surrounding the enigmatic Tommy Wiseau and his unknown origins, age, and monetary sources that allowed him to spend $6 million to produce a film that only net $1,800 in its opening weekend. Instead, the movie attempts to capture the relationship between Tommy and his young friend and co-star in The Room, Greg Sestero, played by Dave Franco, and to try to understand what kept Greg committed to the movie and his friendship with Wiseau throughout its production.

What makes the movie so superb, perhaps, is that it is based on a fully documented event. Wiseau, in his beliefs that he was creating an act of cinematography of the highest quality, actually hired a documentarian to film the production of the film. This data, along with the fact that Franco and his cast and crew had to reproduce almost 40 percent of The Room in order to film The Disaster Artist, gives the film a truly insightful behind-the-scenes perspective on the real events it portrays.

In a seemingly impossible act, The Disaster Artist not only overcame its clichéd “movie about making a movie” plot but also managed to transform “the worst film that you will ever see ever in your entire life” into an utterly hysterical movie and a surprisingly perceptive and sharp-witted look into the relationships and emotions that tie people to their visions, ambitions and ultimately, to one another.