The Disaster Artist
Out Now On-Demand
James Franco directs and gives a Golden Globe-winning performance in this behind-the-scenes look at Tommy Wiseau's cult phenomenon The Room. Based on the memoir of The Room co-star Greg Sestero, and starring Dave Franco, Ari Graynor and Seth Rogen alongside a bevy of star-studded cameos.
A tribute to the joy and madness of making movies, The Disaster Artist follows the outrageous adventures of eccentric filmmaker Tommy Wiseau and his best friend, actor Greg Sestero. These two endearing misfits move to L.A. and try to live the Hollywood dream by making their very own feature film, but end up embarking on a wildly unpredictable and hilariously unforgettable production. Leading to one of the most infamous, bizarre, and beloved midnight movies of all time, The Room.
Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy (James Franco), Golden Globes 2018
- Scott Neustadter (based on the book of the same name by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell)
Comedy, Drama, True Story & Biography
Rating: M Offensive language
As documentary-style celebrity talking heads attest pre-credits, The Room is a one-of-a-kind movie phenomenon. Don’t worry, though, you won’t need a working knowledge of The Room to enjoy this recounting of its origins and production - historical events to which no adjectives can truly do justice. And, instead of doco dryness, artistic hero worship, or movie biz insiderism, The Disaster Artist proves to be a hilarious and heartfelt tale of ambition, friendship, and the imponderable mind of creative force Tommy Wiseau, played here in astonishingly believable fashion by director James Franco.
Anyone that’s seen The Room has surely impersonated Wiseau’s mangled line readings, and it’s easy to see how playing him could quickly slide into caricature. He’s almost too good to be true, a seemingly hybrid comedic creation of Tim & Eric, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Mike Myers, with an accent, affect, and attitude that defy comprehension. Damn near everything that comes out of Franco’s mouth while in character is hilarious as a consequence, yet he somehow manages to imbue this absurdism with humanity. You’ll feel for Wiseau to an unexpected degree even amongst what will seem like insane overacting (and, ok, is at times), but is generally the actor’s version of the breathtaking confidence Wiseau himself exudes - though, as the film shows, it’s masking closely-guarded emotions.
Wiseau’s told he should play Frankenstein by frustrated, and spectacularly-goateed, acting coach Bob Odenkirk at one point. In his mind he’s the leading man, but Mary Shelley’s creation (let’s presume Odenkirk means monster, not doctor) is a valid comparison. You’ll laugh and jeer at Franco’s portrayal, until Wiseau’s fragility surfaces. His desperation to make it in Hollywood and need for approval are hilarious, until they suddenly aren’t. And his friendship with the young actor who wrote the memoir on which this is based, and therefore through whose eyes the story is largely told, Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), is exceedingly odd and sometimes creepy - until it’s heartfelt and true.
While it’s stacked with familiar faces in supporting roles and cameos - Seth Rogen, Melanie Griffith, Alison Brie, Paul Scheer, Sharon Stone, personal fave Nathan Fielder and many more - The Disaster Artist’s spotlight belongs to Franco. As a director he’s fashioned a traditionally shot and structured odd couple tale of chasing your dreams, knowing that everything is secondary to bringing his performance as Wiseau and the remarkable real-life events behind a beloved film oddity to the screen. The results will be familiar to many fans of The Room in that it’s possible to passionately love and laugh at something at the same time - never cruel to its subject, The Disaster Artist ekes more consistent laughs out of Tommy Wiseau than any fictitious character this year.
Herald Sun (Australia)
TimeOut (New York)
The Guardian (UK)
Stuff.co.nz (James Croot)
Sydney Morning Herald
It's both funny and interesting; with terrific performances and an emotional tale.
Literally LOL the whole movie. Please tell me they will release a full remake of The Room!
Quirky tale of a true outsider
I am sure there are a million stories out there about talentless people who have such strong self belief ( and plenty of cash) that they somehow achieve some sort of greatness. Tommy Wiseau lives in a separate reality that allows him to believe he is a movie mogul and acting great. His money allowed him to pull in a team to help him make his film. James Franco does a sterling job at playing the clueless Tommy who somehow pulls off the making of a movie, albeit one so dreadful it became famous for it's ghastliness. I haven't seen The Room and probably never will, but it's worth noting that Sylvestor Stallone took a chance just like this and everyone thought Rocky would be awful. Sometimes these crazy visionaries turn out to be brilliant. Tommy Wiseau was not one of them.
"They're all goning to laugh at you!"
A real surprise
Fans of the The Room or people that have knowledge of the film (I fall into the latter category) will know what they are getting into regarding the humour of this film. But one thing you don't expect is the humanity of the film, propped up by the transformative James Franco performance as Tommy Wiseau. This gets a strong recommendation from me.
Snatching hilarity from disaster
I first saw THE ROOM at midnight, in a packed cinema and I’ll never forget the hail of spoons raining down on the screen, or the entire audience crying out as one: “I did nat hit her. I did naaaaaaat!”
Ahh, THE ROOM. Tommy Wiseau’s hugely expensive home movie project. Part disastrous, so bad it’s fun, PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE mess, part crowd pleasing cult live cinematic experience, along the lines of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW – only with more spoons.
Wanting answers, I read actor Greg Sestero’s book, ‘The Disaster Artist’ (co-authored with Tom Bissell) but the legend of the incompetence and bizarre nature of Wiseau only grew.
Now, the legend takes on even crazier life as a terribly good bad awful trainwreck of a movie inspires a superb, funny and genuinely heartfelt film about the making of THE ROOM, and the friendship at its core between Wiseau and Sestero.
The result is a movie by Hollywood insiders about Hollywood wannabes, and though that can smack of patronizing self-adulation, there’s more heart in THE DISASTER ARTIST than a mere slapstick comedy laughing at the little guys.
Director and star, James Franco may be way too handsome, talented and intelligent to convincingly play Wiseau, but twenty-minutes in and you forgive him, because his performance is a wonderful blend of crazy, humanity, childish eagerness, misplaced confidence, a desperate need to be loved… and a dollop more crazy.
As Sestero, Franco’s real-life brother Dave, is great, as are all the supporting cast, including Seth Rogen, Bob Odenkirk, Josh Hutcherson, Alison Brie, Nathan Fielder, and quite a few cameos from the likes of Sharon Stone and Melanie Griffith.
Together, the Franco brothers explore a strange friendship, that starts off really weird, gets even weirder and then actually manages to become something genuinely (and surprisingly) touching.
A tale of vaulting ambition and shooting for the stars, THE DISASTER ARTIST is a joyous romp and a love letter to the movies and the madcap people who make and want to make them.
If like me, you love Tim Burton's movie, ED WOOD, then this makes a great companion piece, and it’s a great way to prepare for watching THE ROOM – although I’d strongly recommend you do that in a crowded cinema and not alone! It’s far funnier and safer for your sanity…