City Press reviews: The Disaster Artist
Director: James Franco
Starring: James Franco, Dave Franco
Stars: 4-and-a-half stars
Before you go to watch Golden Globe best picture winner The Disaster Artist, you should probably see the movie that it’s about – The Room.
Widely regarded as the worst film ever made, it’s a bizarre, badly edited, cheesy, jaw-droppingly awful romance directed by one of the strangest men on earth: Tommy Wiseau.
So bad was The Room that it gained somewhat of a cult following, and 15 years later its 62-year-old creator remains a mysterious figure of interest. So interesting in fact, that actor James Franco decided to make a movie about the guy.
Franco plays Wiseau, with his rising star brother Dave Franco as Greg Sestero, Wiseau’s friend and actor in The Room. Sestero co-wrote a bestselling book about his experience with Wiseau, and that book informed a lot of The Disaster Artist’s happenings.
James has been in the media for alleged sexual misconduct, and was snubbed for a best actor Oscar nomination. It’s a pity he’s apparently a real-life arsehole, because his acting in The Disaster Artist is impeccable. In fact, he is so like the pale, drawling Wiseau, that it’s uncanny.
Among the cast that play Wiseau’s flabbergasted film crew is the ever-funny Seth Rogen. He plays Sandy Schklair, who comes on board The Room as the script writer. Later, in a temper tantrum, Wiseau fires the film’s director and Schklair becomes the de facto director. Rogen’s slow realisation that he might be working on one of the most awful movies ever is comedy gold.
The film itself is a superb, raucous character study of a person larger than life – who ultimately has no acting or directing talent, but is hellbent on becoming a star no matter what.
The real Wiseau was rich, really rich. Where he got all his money is unknown, though some reports say he amassed a fortune importing leather jackets. By sheer willpower and self-funding (he apparently spent a staggering $6 million to make The Room) he made a movie so bad that it ultimately got him what he always wanted – fame.
The Disaster Artist is unique, off kilter and strangely inspiring in the end. To his credit, it’s a movie only a fellow wierdo like James Franco could make. Go see it.