I’ve been to the screenings, I’ve thrown the spoons, it’s safe to say I’m a huge fan of “The Room” (2003). For the 2 people that haven’t heard of it, it’s a low-budget ‘drama’ about Johnny, the ‘All American hero,’ played by Tommy Wiseau, who also directed, wrote and produced the film. Famous for its terrible acting, terrible writing and terrible direction the film has gained cult status as ‘the citizen Kane of Bad movies.’
‘The Disaster Artist,’ based on the book of the same name, follows Greg, a struggling young actor. Lacking confidence and perhaps even skill, he is wowed by Tommy’s, ‘rawness’ in an acting class. The pair quickly bond, Greg enthralled by Tommy’s confidence overlooks not only Tommy’s , eccentric behaviour, but also the fact that the man is a complete enigma. Where is he from? What age is he? How does he get his money? Ignoring these questions, Greg agrees to move to LA with Tommy.
After one rejection after another the pair decide to take destiny into their own hands and make their own film. Inspired, Tommy writes the film himself and soon enough ‘The Room’ is ready for the director to call action. However, when the film begins to shoot, Greg starts to see Tommy might not be all he’s talked himself up to be. Easily his best performance, Franco virtually disappears into the role of Wiseau, incorporating all his mannerisms and gestures without making him a caricature. This film could have easily been a “best moments from The Room,” while the iconic scenes are there, they are used to highlight conflict in the plot and between characters, not for fan-service.
What really struck me about this film is the fine balance between comedy and genuine heart-warming moments. One of the few films about Hollywood and film making in general that really looks at the pursuit of dreams and that sometimes, no matter how hard we try, we’re just “not right for the part.” But far from being a soul-crushing two hours of “kill your dreams kids” the film shows how you turn a failure into a success and a failed dream into a new passion.
The story behind the cult-classic is one of the best films of the year. With amazing performances and attention paid to every detail, finally, Wiseau’s magnum opus is back where is belongs, on the big screen.
Director: James Franco
Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie.
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