The Disaster Artist, directed by James Franco, is a biopic from the perspective of Greg Sestero, one of the leads in the cult classic film, The Room. The film follows Sestero (Dave Franco) as he meets Tommy Wiseau (James Franco), a man with a dream, a dream to be a “big star,” and their journey together that led to the creation of arguably the worst movie ever made.
When this film was announced, I was excited and very skeptical at the same time. I love The Room for the hilarious atrocity that it is, but I wasn’t sure about a biopic about the creation of said film, especially with James Franco starring and directing. However, when the first trailer was released, I was in, no questions asked after that and the end product is so much more than I expected it to be.
Let’s start off by talking about the Franco brothers and their performances. Both fantastic for drastically different reasons. Dave Franco just really creates a Greg that is empathetic and someone that you can’t help but feel for. On the other hand, James Franco captures the persona of Tommy Wiseau to perfection. The first couple minutes that he was on-screen, he was a bit off-putting, but after that he was mesmerizing, and often infuriating, in the role.
The range of feelings that James Franco was able to capture as a director was incredible as well. This is one of the most hilarious Oscar-caliber films in recent memory and there were several points I was laughing so hard that my gut started hurting. The film is also extremely heartfelt when it deals with Greg and Tommy’s relationship, and heartbreaking at times when their friendship begins to fall apart.
The film was somehow very inspiring as well. Greg and Tommy made a pact to follow their dreams, which is a very inspiring thing to believe in and it’s heartbreaking to see them fail so miserably. As an aspiring filmmaker myself, I related so much to this and the film hit me on a deeper level because of that.
As for flaws in the film, they are few and far between, but there are several that are definitely present.
There are several cameos throughout the film, which I don’t want to spoil, but these were often the worst parts of the film. While yes, they are extremely funny, they pulled me out of the film while they were on-screen and laughing when I probably shouldn’t have been laughing.
There are also a couple of time jumps in the film. While the time jumps that are used in the beginning feel very organic and purposeful, there is at least one time jump that felt very forced and abrupt to the point of annoyance.
Overall, The Disaster Artist is a hilarious, heartfelt, heartbreaking, inspiring, and infuriating film all at the same time. It is a must-see for any fan of The Room and even if you aren’t, you will probably still enjoy the film immensely.