The Disaster Artist Review

The Disaster Artist

James Franco is a bit of a marmite actor.

You either hate him or you love to hate him.

Now I hate marmite, but I’ve always liked Franco for his curious nature, fearless spirit and willingness to make himself the punchline whenever he can, when he could have easily traded on his pretty boy looks instead.

Sure, not every film he does works – but whoever said they had to?

Which kind of makes Franco ideal to play Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist, a film about the making of Wiseau’s cult movie The Room.

Like a lot of models, Greg wants to be more than just really, really, seriously good looking… he wants to be an actor.

He’s no good at it mind, but that doesn’t stop him from dreaming about moving to LA and becoming as big as James Dean.

If only he could let go when he’s on stage, like his acting class comrade in arms Tommy.

Now Tommy is a unique kind of guy.

With his long, black hair, permanent sunglasses and weathered features, Greg’s soon to be new best friend looks like he could be in an Iron Maiden tribute band.

And not one of the good ones either.

But that doesn’t matter, because when Tommy takes to the stage, he is fearless.

Screaming, crying, wailing, climbing up the walls… there’s literally nothing Tommy won’t do when inhabiting a role.

Except maybe trying to act.

Which means Tommy’s just as awful as Greg, only without the self-awareness and accompanying shame.

But when Greg asks his new friend for help in letting go of his inhibitions, it sets in motion a course of events that will help both of their dreams come true.

Adapted from Greg Sestero’s novel of the same name, The Disaster Artist is the hilarious story behind The Room, one of the worst films ever made.

The Room is excruciatingly bad, from the god awful dialogue, terrible acting and dated production values that made a film made in 2003 look like one of those lamentable American soap operas from the early nineties

But behind all this is a tale of two dreamers coming together to try and make their dreams come true.

And what’s more Hollywood than that?

That they’re both hopelessly untalented only makes their journey all the more charming.

The beauty of The Disaster Artist is that, instead of cruelly milking Wiseau’s ridiculous film and nature for laughs, it actually treats him with a lot of love.

Which is probably all he was really looking for in the first place.

Sure, he’s a fucked up man with a fucked up plan, a ridiculous accent, a crazy amount of money and a tenuous grasp on reality… but all he really wants is to be the hero.

And who better to understand this mindset than James Franco, a man who often writes, directs, produces and stars in his own films?

Now Franco’s accent is a little off, the bastard lovechild of Christopher Walken and Dustin Hoffman’s Rainman if they’d been raised in Vietnam… which in itself is hilarious.

Everything else about The Disaster Artist is spot on though, and is even more enjoyable than The Room itself – which is no easy task.

Dave Franco plays ‘babyface’ Greg Sestero, effortlessly creating that brotherly bond between his character and James’ Wiseau, and there are more cameos from famous faces than you can shake a stick at.

The cult appeal of The Room clearly has plenty of fans in Hollywood.

But the best cameo of all comes at the very end, and is worth sticking around for.

So whether you love or hate marmite, this latest James Franco project is anything but a disaster

Jonathan Campbell

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Dates ‘n stuff

December 2017