Tommy Wiseau’s The Room is not the worst film ever made, but it’s certainly the most celebrated bad movie of the past two decades. Based on actor Greg Sestero’s memoir of the making of The Room, James Franco’s very funny The Disaster Artist is possibly the best narrative film about an outsider filmmaker since Tim Burton’s Ed Wood, and it’s anchored by three wise choices. The first choice is to follow the book’s structure, so the first act concerns how Greg (Franco, Dave) met Tommy (Franco, James), a bromance that would be peculiar enough even if the actors weren’t brothers. The second choice is director Franco’s physical approach to his character. Though he bulked up and he wears a long scraggly wig, other than some mild prosthetics, there’s no attempt to truly re-create the alien topography of Wiseau’s face around his weird eyes, so Franco’s performance does most of the heavy lifting. (In that respect, it’s reminiscent of Anthony Hopkins in Oliver Stone’s Nixon.) In what may prove to be the most brilliant move of Franco’s directorial career, he ends the already solidly entertaining The Disaster Artist with side-by-side comparisons of the original The Room and his cast’s recreations. It’s something any number of YouTubers would have done anyway, and he beat them to the punch. Well done!
The Disaster Artist