Oh, hai reader!……. Let’s go back in time to the late 90s/early 00s (the best kind of period piece) and get ready to chase your Hollywood dreams in The Disaster Artist: The bonkers and unbelievable true story behind ‘the Citizen Kane of bad movies’ The Room.
Greg Sestero (Dave Franco: Nerve,Bad Neighbours), a painfully shy 18-year-old actor, meets the strange but unashamedly confident Tommy Wiseau (James Franco: This Is The End, Freaks & Geeks) in an acting class. Impressed by his fearlessness, Greg asks that they become scene partners. Despite Tommy’s ambiguity, he seems to be in his 40's and has a thick Eastern European accent but claims to be the same age as Greg and from New Orleans. They form an unlikely friendship and move to Los Angeles in pursuit of stardom.
After Tommy hears nothing but rejection, that it won’t happen for him in a million years (and no, not after that either), he sets out to make his own big Hollywood movie. Tommy writes, directs and self-finances The Room, a $6 million feature dollar for him to star in as the all American handsome leading man & Greg in the second lead role playing his best friend. The film, if you haven’t seen it, has gone on to become a cultural phenomenon as the best worst film of all time, continuing to have sold out screenings around the world.
Based on Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell’s book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room with a screenplay by Scott Neustadter & Michael H Weber (500 Days of Summer, The Fault In Our Stars) and in true Wiseau fashion James Franco produces, directs and stars in the lead role. Completely taken over by the enigmatic, outlandish & misunderstood Wiseau, James has given us one of his finest performances yet. His best comedic role since Spring Breakers, and worthy of his potential second Oscar nomination.
Alongside the Franco brothers in their first pairing on the big screen, the film is supported by an incredible cast; the always excellent Alison Brie (Community) as Greg’s girlfriend and appearing as The Room’s cast and crew; Ari Graynor (For a Good Time Call) as Juliette Danielle, the unfortunate actress that has to share love scenes with a butt-naked Tommy (he’s convinced that his nudity will help sell the movie), Seth Rogan (Pineapple Express), Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games), Zac Efron (High School Musical), Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook) and the How Did This Get Made? podcast hosts Jason Mantzoukas, Paul Scheer & June Dine Raphael all appear alongside a ton of stellar cameos interwoven throughout.
Fans of The Room will love The Disaster Artist. It more than delivers, showing a lot of love and sharing unprecedented details of The Room, whilst perfectly setting the scene so that novices can equally enjoy this touching tale of friendship that needs to be seen to be believed. One of the most hilarious and must see movies of the year.
Words by Joel Babbington @dr_joelb