The Room. One of the most recognizable and successful cult movies of all time. The Room is written by, directed by, and starring Tommy Wiseau, a strange and secretive man claiming to be from Lousiana despite having an Eastern European accent. The Disaster Artist is a biopic on Tommy Wiseau, from the moment he met his best friend and The Room main actor Greg up to the Hollywood premier of The Room.
I admit, I wasn’t sold on the movie at first. The first few minutes with Tommy (James Franco) and Greg (Dave Franco) were kind of boring, and it felt weird watching the two since it was hard to suspend disbelief knowing that the two leads were brothers in real life. It was also hard to interpret what Tommy was saying since James Franco was slurring his words. But The Disaster Artist draws you in with every passing minute. By the middle mark, I was fully invested on Tommy and Greg’s struggles in Hollywood, and by the end I was fully satisfied and rooting for Tommy.
At its core, The Disaster Artist is a movie on friendship. Tommy and Greg are the unlikeliest of friends, but they developed a special bond which in different ways helped both of them. Much of the comedy of the movie derives from the two interacting, with Tommy being outlandish and strange and Greg reacting to the madness. Shoutout to Seth Rogen as the script supervisor.
This is James Franco’s movie. He is absolutely stunning as Tommy Wiseau. It’s very easy to parody Tommy, but James manages to go beyond superficiality and go under his skin. He manages to present Tommy as a very complex individual, flawed and possessive, definitely, but thoughtful and sensitive as well. Tommy is someone who obviously isn’t likeable or rootable upon first glance, but James Franco’s characterization exposes the actual Tommy, underneath all the slurring and weird accent, to the world.
The last scene in particular, The Room’s Hollywood premier, packs a surprising emotional punch. In just a span of a few minutes, you go from shock to sadness to happiness then finally to contention.
The Disaster Artist is a very atypical biopic with an unexpected emotional payoff.