Movie review: 'Disaster Artist'

Updated: Sep 25, 2018

Kyle Winfield | Staff Writer

Courtesy LA Times

Ever since its release in 2003, “The Room” has both baffled and amused audiences all over the world with its bizarre dialogue, laughable story and exceptionally poor acting. In doing so, the film has become a pop culture phenomena. For many years many have wondered about how this monumental catastrophe was brought about. Many more have speculated about the mysterious man behind it all, Tommy Wiseau. This is where “The Disaster Artist” comes in.

Directed by James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”, which is based upon Greg Sestero’s book of the same name, and chronicles the friendship of Sestero and Wiseau, leading up to the production of “The Room”. The film stars James Franco as Tommy Wiseau, and Dave Franco as Greg Sestero, along with Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Josh Hutcherson, Ari Graynor and Jacki Weaver.

Now, like a visit to the doctor’s office, let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first. If you are looking for a perfect adaptation of Sestero’s book, you might be a bit disappointed. When it comes to adapting a book, it’s guaranteed there will be parts left out. Film adaptations need to maintain a reasonable run-time and pace. However, needless changes and pure fabrications, which this film has, can take the viewer out of the experience. That being said, this is only a criticism for those that have read the book.

When it comes to the performances, one cannot state enough how impressively accurate James Franco’s portrayal of Tommy Wiseau is. It is cliché to say that an actor “has become” the role they are taking on, however this phrase holds true in Franco’s case. His Wiseau impersonation is so spot on, that they might as well have cast Tommy Wiseau to play the role himself. This is especially impressive given Wiseau’s peculiar demeanor and eccentric personality.

When it comes to the other actor’s performances, they could be described as “fine”, “good” and “serviceable.” This is by no means a negative, as the other actors do their best with their given roles. This is also due to James Franco’s performance overshadowing the others.

The only actor who feels miscast is Dave Franco. The energy that he brings to the role of Greg Sestero feels very unlike the actual person he was portraying. This is very odd given the accuracy that went into the portrayal of Wiseau.

On the other side, another highlight of the film was the near perfect recreation of many of the infamous scenes from “The Room”. It is quite impressive to see the amount of detail being put into trying to recreate scenes from what has been called “one of the worst films ever made”. And to see it done with such reverence to the source material is very pleasing.

Overall, “The Disaster Artist” is a very fun and enjoyable film. While its plot is nothing too special, just an underdog story and buddy comedy, it is refreshing to see a film made with such heart and reverence to the people who the film is based on, even if a bit inaccurate on a story level. In the end, I would certainly recommend this film to fans of “The Room”, the book “The Disaster Artist”, and those who have an appreciation for the filmmaking process.