The Disaster Artist
Director: James Franco
Writer: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Based on: Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell‘s book of the same name
Cast: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Ari Graynor, Alison Brie, Jacki Weaver, Paul Scheer, Zac Efron, Josh Hutcherson, June Diane Raphael, Megan Mullally, Jason Mantzoukas, Sharon Stone, Melanie Griffith, Hannibal Buress, Bob Odenkirk, Randall Park, Dree Hemingway, Zoey Deutch, Ike Barinholtz, Kevin Smith, Keegan-Michael Key, Adam Scott, Danny McBride, Kristen Bell, J.J. Abrams, Lizzy Caplan, Judd Apatow, Zach Braff, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Greg Sestero, Tommy Wiseau
Seen on: 26.1.2017
Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) dreams of being an actor and making it big. In one of his acting classes, he meets Tommy Wiseau (James Franco). Tommy is a strange guy, but Greg is struck by his mysterious charisma and generall weirdness. They become unlikely friends. And since Tommy seems to have a lot of money, he can offer Greg a chance that he wouldn’t otherwise get: they should go to Hollywood together, stardom is sure to follow. But when it doesn’t, Tommy makes a new plan: he will make a film himself for them and then their film is going to make them famous.
The Disaster Artist is fun to watch, at least if you can take a huge James Franco ego project, because that’s what it is, too. Mostly it’s a good story that kept me glued to the screen.
Before I saw the film, most of what I heard about it was how painstakingly they recreated The Room, with shot by shot comparisons that are really quite impressive. And the film does give a lot of background information about a movie that has since become legendary in so many ways (most of them not good, though). It was interesting to watch just for that – especially since I saw it just before watching The Room in its entirety for the first time (having known only snippets and scenes of it before). Things seem to be even stranger than I suspected – at least according to The Disaster Artist.
Given my knowledge of the film as “the movie about The Room”, I was quite surprised that it’s actually a buddy movie, focusing much more on the friendship between Greg and Tommy than on the making of The Room. It’s their friendship that provides the core of the film, it is the thing it returns back to again and again.
The Franco brothers do a really great job with their respective characters and while James’ Tommy is much more flamboyant and eye-catching, it’s Dave’s Greg’s gullible naivité that is really relatable, while at the same time at least as strange as Tommy’s behavior.
In addition to telling an incredible story that you would shake your head at if it wasn’t true, the film really is funny and had me laughing out loud a couple of times. At times I did wonder, how much the film is actually laughing at Tommy himself and not the absurd situations that he maneuvers himself into. It’s a fine line and the film never crosses it too far to ruin the fun, but it would have been better if it had stayed a little further away from it. Still I could laugh and since Wiseau himself, as well as Sestero make appearances, I hope that they’re both okay with it.
Summarizing: A really good watch.