The Disaster Artist (2017)
Director: James Franco
Writers: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber
Actors: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogan, Alison Brie, Josh Hutcherson
The first 20 minutes of The Disaster Artist went by and all I was feeling was... Cringe. I felt this awkward feeling all around me. No one in the theater was laughing, and everything James and Dave Franco were doing felt really strange. Then it clicked. That's the whole point. The film is giving us the feeling of why The Room became so beloved. Because after half an hour of no laughter from the audience, you start hearing hysterical laughter with every scene that comes. This is what The Room did to audiences back in the day and this is what The Disaster Artist did as well.
The Disaster Artist follows the events in making what is known as "The worst film ever created", The Room. However, I should commend The Disaster Artist by saying that I don't think you need to watch The Room or understand the culture behind it in order to enjoy the current film. Which is a good thing, because The Room is a pain to watch. I have watched the film once, and I will never watch it again. Because I am not one of those people who actually think that it is some sort of cinematic masterpiece, or that it's "badness" is what makes it great. I just think its awful. However, I do find the culture surrounding The Room to be very interesting which is what made me want to watch The Disaster Artist. So I came into this film curious, and I left the theater satisfied with what it gave, but that's about it. I was just satisfied. Whether that's a good or bad thing is up to you.
In terms of the film, as I said, it started off feeling very awkward. But slowly I started to loosen up along with the audience around me. We embraced the awkward nature of the film which perfectly plays into why The Room was so beloved in the first place. Either way, the film itself did a good job in capturing the essence of the story. James Franco plays Wiseau pretty well and nails his mannerisms, accent, and his awkward aura. However, at times I felt like it was too much especially when they were not actually filming and we were just seeing Tommy off-screen. It felt like he did not really show us the difference between on-screen Tommy and real life Tommy. However, overall it was solid. Furthermore, Dave Franco also did a good job as Tommy's "Best Friend", Greg. I feel like focusing The Disaster Artist on the relationship of Greg and Tommy was a very smart choice, since it creates a really great character arc for the audience to follow aside from just following the events of the making of the film. Their dynamics feel natural. Well, as natural as you can make a relationship with Tommy Wiseau. Still, the film managed to find the right balance between showing what was going on while still being entertaining for the audience.
Although The Disaster Artist managed to tick many boxes, it still missed out on some aspects. First of all, the way the film ended felt a little too forced and over dramatized. I highly doubt that is how the premiere of The Room was actually like. I went and read up on it and saw that it was a disaster and many people walked out on it. It was unlike what happened in the film. Because the film made it seem like although it was bad people liked it immediately and thought it was funny and all that when that is not the case. I would have really loved it if they showed how it became a cult hit rather than just making it so it seems like people enjoyed it at the premiere. It felt a bit preachy and trying to further push this notion of how it is a film that defied all odds when it didnt to begin with. Another thing that really bugged me was the choppy editing. Some scenes just felt so choppy. The shots just kept switching back and forth while people were talking and it felt somewhat nauseating to me. I don't know if that was a conscious choice, but it did not feel like one to me. All in all, the film missed in some aspects that hindered my enjoyment.
The Disaster Artist is a film that I recommend most people to see. Whether you know about The Room or never heard of it. The film is simple and entertaining. It manages to hit all the right notes and achieve what it set out to do. However, as I explained the film falls into its own self glory and idolizes the original film way too much and it rubbed me the wrong way. Nevertheless, I came out of the theater feeling satisfied with what I saw, and I think most people watching it would feel the same way too.