The Room was released in 2003 and has been described as “the Citizen Kane of bad movies”. The film quickly gained a cult following due to its bizarre storyline, stilted acting, technical and narrative flaws as well as star and director Tommy Wiseau's strange and uncomfortable performance. The making of the film has for years been somewhat shrouded in mystery, with movie fans asking how and why did this film get made, what were the actors thinking, and what could have possibly caused its budget to exceed over six million dollars? These are just some of the questions which writer/director James Franco attempts to address in 2017's The Disaster Artist a biographical film about the making of The Room.
Adapted from the award-winning memoir The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made, the film tells the story of the friendship between Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) and Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) and how their dream of becoming actors would lead them to move Hollywood and eventually make The Room. The film is jam packed with celebrity appearances and cameos from the likes of Bryan Cranstan, J.J. Abrams, Bob Odenkirk, and Kevin Smith. Fans of Franco's will also notice many of his frequent collaborators such as Seth Rogen and Danny McBride.
The Disaster Artist shows us many of the behind the scenes antics involved in the making of the film, the reckless overspending, the tantrums on set, and the cast and crews bewildered and exasperated reactions. However at the heart of the film is James Franco's performance as Tommy Wiseau a man so committed and confident in his creative endeavor that he is willing to put everything on the line to get his film made. Behind the strange accent and attire lies a real human being who is attempting to create art and a film that he believes will go down in movie history (which it does, but not for the reasons he thought!) and Franco's performance shines a light on all of this.
Hollywood loves movies about movies but it is so rare to see something which demonstrates how much work, determination and confidence it takes to even make a bad movie. When The Room first premiered audiences were laughing at Tommy not with him, they were laughing at his poor acting skills, strange dialogue, and convoluted plot. The opposite is true with The Disaster Artist which was incredibly well received by critics and audiences alike for its humour, performances, and heart. Franco manages to strike the perfect balance between drama and comedy in what might be his finest achievement as a director.
The Disaster Artist is now available to buy in Golden Discs stores nationwide and at goldendiscs.ie.
Words of Stephen Holland, Dun Laoghaire branch.
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