Checked out the very well made movie The Disaster Artist, based on the book about the creation of The Room, one of those “Worst Movie Ever” movies. Made in 2003, The Room is notoriously bad and the subject of countless midnight screenings. The Disaster Artists is about the making of that movie, but not in a mean-spirited way which was surprisingly.
Set in the early 2000s, it tells the story of wannabe actors (and real life people) Greg Sestero and his odd friend Tommy Wieseau. Wiseau is a deluded masterwork of oddities… from his vague eastern European accent, to his many, many belts, to his righteous belief that he too can make Hollywood movie. And, to his credit, he does… and the Disaster Artist isn’t a cynical, sarcastic depiction of clueless jerks trying to make a movie and failing, it’s about real dreamers trying – and succeeding – to make a movie. Yes, a very bad movie, but as Disaster Artists points out, they had a dream and they achieved it, regardless of the results.
So this movie, The Disaster Artist, succeeds because it doesn’t have delusions about the quality of The Room. It succeeds because it has compassion for the people who made The Room. It doesn’t shy away from suggesting Tommy Wiseau could be a deluded jerk, but, even at his worst,it suggests his delusions and jerkiness might be coming from real pain. Whether it’s whatever relationship problems he may have had in the past or his current inability to be seen by Hollywood as anything but The Bad Guy when he wants to the The Hero.
The only problem I had with the movie was James Franco as Tommy Wiseau. Not because Franco didn’t do a good job, but because he’s too handsome a guy with too lean of facial features to play the more lumpy and older Wiseau. He ultimately manages to pull it off most of the time though and he plays Wiseau compassionately but honestly. The movie isn’t “punching down” as some have accused it of being.
You probably already know if you want to see this movie or not based on whether or not you’ve seen The Room. If you’ve never seen – or even heard of – The Room, it might still work as a movie about people striving for their dream… you just might be a little lost as to what they are talking about. I’d hate to think this is a niche movie based on a niche movie that only a handful of people would enjoy… so give it a shot.