Kyle Langenbach

Review - "The Disaster Artist"

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This film is anything but a disaster.

I never saw "The Room", the 2003 film that this is based on. But for those not in the know, it is considered to literally be the worst film ever made. So James Franco decided to make a behind the scenes film about the making of the worst film ever made.  And it works. 

Franco plays the director of the Room, Tommy Wiseau. Rather than try to explain why that is funny, just google him and watch clips. Describing him with words is basically impossible, but suffice to say he's a very, very weird bird. 

This is in large part a buddy film - Tommy convinces his best friend Greg to go to LA and become famous actors. When things don't work out as planned, Tommy decides to make his own film and show Hollywood how great he is.

What makes the film work so well is that you end up rooting for him to succeed, even though he is kind of a jerk. He truly believes in what he's doing. But you realize he's also incredibly broken - he is so socially awkward that no one wants to be around him. But deep down is really a decent guy (at least that's how Franco paints him). So when he and Greg start to conflict over Tommy's actions screwing up Greg's life, it gains a bit of honest tension.

Still, the unique awkwardness of Tommy is what drives the comedy full tilt. This is definitely one of those times where you say "you can't make this s*** up", as can be seen in the Room and from outtakes from that film. 

I don't know how much liberty Franco took with the narrative, but it flows pretty well and it arcs in a fairly standard way. No big surprises - it's just a solid, funny, weird and sometimes uncomfortable (in a good way) ride through a piece of "cinematic history".

Grade: B

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