Image: James & Dave Franco as Tommy Wiseau & Greg Sestero © Photograph by Justina Mintz. Property of Warner Bros. [Source: IMDB]
The Disaster Artist, directed and starring James Franco as the infamous Tommy Wiseau, follows the undeniably intriguing story of just how and why The Room (dir. Wiseau. 2003) got made. The Film focuses in on Wiseau’s best friend and partner on The Room project, Greg Sestero, as he meets Wiseau and continues down the rabbit hole – joining him on an adventure to Hollywood to start an acting career.
Director: James Franco. Starring: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogan 
For cinephiles and movie lovers alike, The Room is a piece of cinema you’d be hard pressed to not want to watch or find anyone who has not. It’s a cult following built on the spectacular failure of Tommy Wiseau’s and Greg Sestero’s movie. Which leads me to The Disaster Artist, my initial thought going into the film was hoping it was not just gonna be a rerun of jokes from The Room and to my pleasure it delivered something far more heartfelt yet still a celebration of the eccentricity of Wiseau and his film.
Franco (rather surprisingly I might add) masterfully orchestrates the tone and telling of this story. The film quite easily could have come out as an attack on Wiseau (and likely fall into the trap of not standing on its own) or as a justification for Wiseau’s actions during production. Thankfully it finds the perfect sweet spot, presenting Wiseau and the production of the film in all its chaotic, awful beauty. There are moments in the film confirming stories from the set, showing that Wiseau indeed was tough to the crew as well as to Sestero, but alongside this, there are genuine sympathy inspiring moments.
The Disaster Artist also manages wonderfully to remember it has an audience of its own, sure, for the most part, this is an opportunity for the cult gathered around The Room to come and learn or just enjoy the humour in The Room from a new angle. However, the film does stand on its own merits, Wiseau and hilarious eccentricity aside the movie tells a wonderfully warm story of friendship. We see despite the world around them rejecting them, they find true friendship with each other. Through this, we also get a real inspiration story put in front of us, yes it’s put across with one of the worst films ever made but these are two people who Hollywood wouldn’t allow to make it, so they made it on their own. There is something very down to earth about the story that is sure to touch anybody who has had a dream.
There is clearly a lot of passion and attention to detail put into the film, James Franco and co even nail the recreation of infamous scenes from The Room and the capturing of these people, Franco’s Wiseau is very much Franco doing Wiseau but there’s an admiration for it and it’s what draws a lot of the laughs.
Speaking of which I didn’t feel the film was all too funny outside of jokes from Wiseau as a person or The Room as a film but when you’ve got something as laugh out loud as this, it’s likely the correct decision to let Wiseau take the wheel. It does also leave a lot of celebrity played roles as nothing more than “oh look who it is” which will have you wondering why take the money to cast said person but I actually just sort of thought – perhaps the point is to show the reach of The Room, that all these people want to be part of it’s telling.
Masterfully directed and acted, The Disaster Artist tells the tale of a surprisingly heartfelt and hilarious celebration of one of cinemas greatest disasters and the eccentric personality behind it. It’s as personal of a look into Tommy Wiseau as we will likely ever get, while it may not do anything groundbreaking it does beg questions of what defines a good movie since this “terrible film”, is still being marvelled at over 10 years later.