The Room is a puzzling phenomenon that has risen to the status of cult classic. When people think of a bad movie, this one always comes to mind—a beautiful train wreck that has captured the attention of millions and has had plenty of midnight screenings for fans to congregate. Just this month, there was a special screening at the Lagoon Cinema in Uptown, where the staff were wearing tuxedo T-shirts and handing out “Oh Hai Mark” stickers. The marketing of this film fully embraced the fan base, and used it to their benefit. The theater was full of excitement, as though we were about to see a Star Wars film; people were genuinely delighted to be there.
The man behind The Room, Tommy Wiseau, is an enigma with a very distinct personality, and the history of his film is shrouded in mystery too—from its funding to the very point of the movie. Now, over a decade after that film’s release, The Disaster Artist emerges, based on the book of the same name by Greg Sestero, one of the actors from The Room. James and Dave Franco star as Wiseau and Sestero in this hilarious movie, which revolves around Sestero and his experience with the making of The Room.
Even the casual moviegoer who doesn’t know much about the subject matter will enjoy The Disaster Artist. The comedy lands every single time, and though it gives a few winks to the audience, they aren’t too on the nose. For example, in The Room there are scenes of the actors throwing a football back and forth for no reason, and in The Disaster Artist there is a scene in which James Franco casually throws a football around. It’s the best way to handle fan service without being silly.
The Francos make this movie. They do a wonderful job with the character acting; James is the spitting image of Wiseau and is successful at mimicking his accent and mannerisms. His performance is Oscar worthy. The Francos together have great chemistry on screen, and it projects perfectly in this movie.
The production of The Room itself is a actually a small part of The Disaster Artist. Wiseau turns into this complicated character who tries to make the audience empathetic towards him—a very strange man who doesn’t fit the “movie star criteria” and his struggle to be a legitimate actor. We see this through Sestero’s point of view, and the film conveys an understanding as to why he helped Wiseau make this movie.
I have very little to complain about. There are a few rare low points in the movie; for example, when they try to show development for some of the minor characters it just seems unnecessary. The movie has a great flow to it and consistently hits you with great dialogue. It isn’t a groundbreaking film, but it is a well-executed comedy that is more original than most movies. Everyone needs to see The Disaster Artist; it’s full of laughs, it’s a great story, and you will never get bored with it.