The first time I had ever heard about The Room was in high school. A number of friends were incessantly quoting the lines from the legendary Tommy Wiseau. I had no idea what they were talking about, but I couldn't help but laugh at every word that came out of their mouth. They explained to me that this was from a real movie, and I went on to learn more about it myself.
We live in a world where people have any and every tool readily available in their creative arsenal to make a project come to life. Because of this, we have a hundreds and hundreds of incredible movies that have changed the course of history. At the same time, we've also been gifted with hundreds (maybe even thousands) of just bad movies. It's amazing that some of these got made. Such is the case with a film like The Room. But even for turning out the way that it did, you can't help but admire Wiseau in all of his mysterious glory. He had a dream, and he made it happen, for better or worse.
The Disaster Artist is a film that sheds light on the story of Wiseau's creation of what would become the infamously "best worst movie of all time". We meet Wiseau (in an immaculate performance by James Franco) in an acting class in San Francisco. He catches the attention of a young man named Greg Sestero (Dave Franco). A friendship begins to form between the two. Sestero admires Wiseau's fearlessness when it comes to acting and cinema. Eventually, Wiseau convinces Sestero to come "stay at his other place" down in LA. Oh, did we mention that Wiseau manages to own places in both San Francisco and Los Angeles, entirely on his own? Sestero has no idea where he's from, where he makes his money, or how old he is. He's a mystery, yet one that we want to trust.
As Tommy and Greg give it everything they've got with pursuing their dreams of becoming Hollywood superstars, they realize that, well, the system really doesn't want them. Even with an agent, Greg isn't getting roles. An idea is hatched, and Wiseau spends weeks writing a screenplay for a film that we know today as The Room. What follows next is supposedly an entirely true account of what happened during the making of this film, from the audition process, to the over-budget and over-time production, to the immeasurable amount of takes done in certain scenes, and so on.
What's so interesting about The Disaster Artist is that no matter how many times you may joke and laugh about The Room, no matter how times you say "Oh hi Mark" amongst your friends afterwards, you walk out with a sense of happiness, and you're rooting for Tommy and Greg to succeed. In a way that I didn't see coming, it became a feel-good film that I'd been searching for the entire year.
The Disaster Artist is the most entertaining film of the year. I can easily say that I was laughing out loud at numerous moments, but I found myself smiling a great deal throughout the film. As stated before, James Franco's performance as Tommy Wiseau is unparalleled with anything he's done before, getting down every vocal inflection, blank stare, and quiet laugh with complete precision. The supporting cast is one for the books, with appearances from an incredible roster of actors including Seth Rogen, Paul Scheer, Alison Brie, Ari Graynor, Zac Efron, Josh Hutcherson, Megan Mullally, Jason Mantzoukas, and Nathan Fielder. This is an essential movie to see not only with Oscar season coming up, but if you're looking for an unforgettable time at the movies before 2017 comes to a close. Don't miss it.
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