Anything but a Disaster: A review of The Disaster Artist


Bad movies can be fun. I've always had an affinity for both the best and the worst that hit the silver screen. Every time I sit down, I look forward to the journey that will unfold before my eyes. When I heard they were making a presumably good movie about the best bad movie ever, well, I was in for a chance to experience the new film The Disaster Artist.

Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) is a mystery. When he meets Greg (Dave Franco) during an acting class in San Francisco, they develop a friendship and soon decide to take their talents to Los Angeles, where Tommy coincidentally has another apartment. Together, they plan to take the movie business by storm.

Tommy's got a physique that works as a model, and oh boy does he have the hair. But he talks differently, walks differently and behaves differently than most in the business and struggles to find his place. Greg also has the looks and works through his issues to quickly land an agent.

Still, life in Hollywood isn't kind to them. Roles don't come for them, and the struggle is real. They both dream of becoming a star, and they come up with the best way to do it: Tommy will write, produce, direct and star in a movie that he will write for both of them.

As the project starts to develop, we begin to wonder, who really is Tommy Wiseau? Where does he get his money? And can Tommy and Greg finish their epic film The Room?

This is a film that begs to be seen in a theater with fans who have seen The Room. There are moments in the film within the film that use shot-for-shot remakes of the classic bad movie. Plus, so many references in the film are inside jokes to fans of The Room.

When the film opens, you may not know how to take things. My advice is this: Let yourself go and live in the moment with the journey that is taking place onscreen. It is when you allow yourself to laugh at the funny sequences and be heartbroken at Tommy's internal strife that you will see the brilliance in the film.

James and Dave work well together as friends. They exhibit the care, love and frustration that goes into any relationship. The supporting cast from Seth Rogen to Alison Brie deliver characters that are both believable and unique.

The amazing thing about this movie is James Franco. He takes on the directing, producing and acting jobs and excels in each of them. While at times you may believe you are watching a parody of what went on, it always feels real, and when the credits roll, they include side-by-side comparisons to the film that is the basis for the entire movie. If you didn't believe this farce could possibly have happened in real life, you will when you see the real Tommy, "Lisa" and Greg in their actual performances. Make sure to watch through the credits for one final sequence with James Franco in character alongside the real Tommy.

Everyone who makes films, good and bad, tries to connect with their audience. Not all films can be one of the best of the year, but all films can make a connection. The Room did (maybe not the connection Tommy envisioned), and The Disaster Artist definitely does.

Let yourself go and experience a film that is part weird, part heartbreaking and all quality. The Disaster Artist is anything but a disaster.

Paul's Grade: B+

The Disaster Artist
Stars: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen
Director: James Franco


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Director: Ron Shelton
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Director: Craig Gillespie
Tonya Harding rises in the ranks at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships. But after her chief rival is attacked and Tonya comes under suspicion, the resulting media storm reveals that the life she has led differs greatly from everyone's expectations of the perfect champion.

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