When an actor gets Oscar consideration it means the person did a performance that was extraordinary, and challenged the audience as much as entertained them. It’s hard to think of anything that can be more of an effort by an actor than intentionally acting poorly. But James Franco’s transformation into Tommy Wiseau should not be ignored.
Who is Tommy Wiseau? He’s only the star, producer, writer, and director behind the cult hit, “The Room.” Released in 2003, the movie made for (legend has it) around $6 million of Wiseau’s money, has since been regarded as one of the worst movies ever made. But in Hollywood, a group of stars championed the movie, showing their appreciation for the effort that went into making the indie and applauding Wiseau’s unique filmmaking choices. That led to Franco having the idea to adapt the book recounting the making of “The Room,” written by Wiseau’s best friend and “The Room” costar Greg Sestero.
“The Disaster Artist” is an extremely entertaining look at two friends (Franco playing Wiseau and Dave Franco as Sestero) who decide to make their own movie after the constant rejection at acting auditions. With incredible detail by James Franco of not just playing Wiseau, but making the reenactments of “The Room” — from the crappy set design and costumes to how awful lines were delivered — is incredible. And you don’t have to be a superfan of “The Room” to appreciate it.
I’m not even going to attempt to explain the plot of “The Room,” or what the heck Wiseau was trying to accomplish with it. All I can tell you is that if you are a superfan, Franco gives you a movie that in no way makes fun of it, but cherishes what it has become: a piece of entertainment that people come together in groups so they can collectively enjoy.
And that’s how “The Disaster Artist” should be experienced. There’s no better example of a movie coming out this year that should be seen with a full theater audience. The energy of the room just heightens the experience. And it doesn’t hurt that Franco brought along the talents of his brother and friends like Seth Rogen and Alison Brie to also star in the movie.
I’m not saying “The Disaster Artist” is the best movie you’ll see this year, but it’s certainly the most fun.
“The Disaster Artist” opens in theaters in limited release Friday and December 8 nation wide.
Here’s the trailer: