Review: The Disaster Artist

Browse By

In 33 AD we killed God’s only son, Jesus Christ. We may have prayed for forgiveness, we may have repented our sins but, 1970 years later, God took his revenge; in 2003 Tommy Wiseau gave us The Room. But the joke was on God because it turned out that we couldn’t get enough of it. Tommy’s masterpiece (from Wiseau productions, written by Tommy Wiseau, directed by Tommy Wiseau, starring Tommy Wiseau and produced by Tommy Wiseau) is loved by literally everyone who’s seen it, due to everything from the iconic quotes to the framed pictures of spoons in the background. It’s no secret (as established in the film) that this was meant to be a Tennessee Williams style drama that subsequently turned into the greatest black comedy of all time. And now they’ve made a film about its production.

I won’t ruin this line for you, but it’s probably one of the most iconic of the 21st Century

I felt the need to wait a few days before writing this as I felt I had to think over some fundamental questions like “is this film funny just because it does The Room again?”, “is this going to be funny for someone who hasn’t seen The Room?”, which even changed very quickly to “is this film going to be funny to someone who has seen The Room?” The very next day after watching The Disaster Artist I watched The Room, and after another day of hard thinking, I’ve come to two conclusions: you must see The Room, and you must see The Disaster Artist.

This film stars James Franco (who also directs) as the “mysterious” auteur Tommy Wiseau and has Dave Franco as his best friend Greg Sestero. Together they try to break into Hollywood, and when Hollywood seemingly ignores them, they decide to make their own film. They have a seemingly infinite budget due to Tommy’s “mysterious” past, but what Tommy has in money he lacks in actual knowledge in filmmaking. In a way, this film is weirdly inspirational. In another, it’s the joy of watching the madness that was the making of The Room, and it’s simply fantastic to watch.

It’s not toilet humour, it’s not edgy humour, nor is it an incredibly well-written set of sketches. The humour comes from the actions of Tommy Wiseau, and this is only amplified with the fact that you know it’s all true, this is what happens in the real film (well, that’s if you’ve seen The Room. If you haven’t, you know now). I’m not sure if it’s James Franco’s accent or the supporting cast’s charisma, but it’s really clear that everyone involved in the film loves The Room as much as anyone can. And when a group of people has this much passion for a film, there’s no way it’ll turn out badly. The Room is the best comedy I’ve seen in years. In fact, it’s unlike any other I’ve seen before, the most accurate genre you can put it in is a docu-drama, perhaps a tragi-comedy dripping with dramatic irony. Major props should go to the filmmakers for choosing to make Tommy Wiseau a sympathetic yet ultimately flawed man with a dream to be in the movies when they could have easily gone down the route of making fun of the silly Eastern European who wouldn’t look out of place in  F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu. By the end of the film, you really feel in love with Tommy, in the same way that you feel love for Eddie the Eagle. It feels like a hero’s journey of a true underdog (an underdog with seemingly limitless resources at his disposal), who has about the same capacity to speak English as Rocky Balboa.

If, like me, you’re a fan of Parks and Recreation, you’ll love some of the cameos quite a few of the old cast members have in this film. And, seriously, there is not a single man who can compete with Tommy Wiseau for my heart. Without wanting to lose any credibility I may have gained in my first review, if someone asked me what’s more worth their time, The Room or Citizen Kane, nine times out of ten I would probably say The Room. Even if this film has only a fraction of The Room’s very special magic, you have to experience it. I don’t have any particular negatives except I wish the first act was a bit shorter; I spent most of it simply waiting for them to start writing The Room. Apart from that, I simply loved this film. See it if you want a strange comedic experience you haven’t experienced before. But, more importantly, watch Tommy Wiseau’s Magnum Opus, his golden calf, his indisputable work of genius, The Room.