Best F(r)iends Volume 1 and 2 (2017, 2018): ‘Double Billed Tribute’ – A Film Marathon Review

 

Introduction

Depicted in two volumes but could easily be treated as one film and, in this particular screening, treated as such. Best F(r)iends Volume 1 and Best F(r)iends Volume 2, or simply Best F(r)iends, is Greg Sestero‘s answer to The Room. Where The Room has become one of the most notoriously bad and yet entertaining films there is, written, directed, staring and produced by Tommy Wiseau starring Greg Sestero; Best F(r)iends is written and starring Greg Sestero and made for Tommy Wiseau – apparently he felt bad after the making of The Room was made into a film The Disaster Artist, based upon Greg Sestero’s book. This story says a lot about exactly what you’re going to expect. It is about friendship and where The Room was a thinly veiled film with atrociously bad acting, which weirdly became famous, Best F(r)iends is fully aware of this – but may be just as thinly veiled. It’s somewhere between self indulgent and sweet.

 

The Cult Audience

This screening featured stars Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau in the cinema to answer questions leading up to the film and helping the films cult status. For no matter how much it may like to escape The Room, its fans and immediate flock are those of The Room. So first of all, how does one appeal to these fans and yet work with such problems from the start? Tommy Wiseau is framed quickly as someone who is painfully lonely and strange, torn by loneliness into someone who you’d usually avoid, for pity. Choosing instead to let him exist as such, creates a sort of endearing nature, despite his odd attitudes and demands. SPOILERS In fact, one plot point is centred on this. He has a vast fortune amounted but doesn’t have the ability to sell it/capitalise on it, until Greg Sestero’s character, Jon, enters on the scene. END OF SPOILERS. This is weirdly effective.

 

Reframing the Celebrity

Shot nicely but with a self aware humour to it, Best F(r)iends manages to improve upon elements that The Room managed to seriously blunder, whilst keeping the humour and adding to it. There are nods to The Room and the film’s characters refer to aspects of the stars fame: ‘Where does Tommy come from?’ and ‘How old is Wiseau?’ are frequent unanswered questions that are a part of his cult celebrity. These nods also help the self aware style of the film making and make it more enjoyable. After Volume One it is strange to think that the need for another film like this could be needed but it does work. The first film leaves enough unanswered questions and tension to warrant a continuation, whilst volume two manages to offer enough changes and even a stunning and comical performance by Rick Edwards. This keeps Best F(r)iends interesting without losing its momentum.

 

Conclusion

It’s fascinatingly odd, but their follow up to The Room isn’t a badly made film; but it is self aware and funny in a way, that The Room was, without meaning to be. This gained many laughs throughout the film and although there isn’t the interactive audience of The Room, there is enough laughter from them to help the cinema experience. Best F(r)iends, like The Disaster Artist ends up being odd additions to film history. They focus completely on an inept film and somehow manage to further it in a way that is well made; improving upon it and yet it doesn’t destroy the cult status of the first – if anything, it pushes it out there more.

 

Synopsis

Jon (Sestero), finds himself under a tree and hurt, he eventually finds Harvey (Wiseau), a Mortician who has amassed a fortune of Gold Teeth but doesn’t seem to be aware of this. Together their need for companionship and help causes a friendship both strong and brittle.

 

Ratings

Entertainment:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

Performances:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

Predictability:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

Technical:

starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

 

A Note on My Reviews

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis below the review for any who wish to see one.

 

Films Mentioned

Best F(r)iends Volume 1 (d. Justin MacGregor USA 2017)

Best F(r)iends Volume 2 (d. Justin MacGregor USA 2018)

The Disaster Artist (d. James Franco USA 2017)

The Room (d. Tommy Wiseau USA 2003)

 

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com and volume two

metacritic.com

Official Site

Interview with Greg Sestero

Interview with Tommy Wiseau

Interview with Justin MacGregor and Producer Kristopher MacGregor

Behind the Scenes

Car Clip

Blow this Up

 

If you liked this

The Room (2003) 15th Anniversary: ‘So ‘Bad’ it’s ‘Good’?’ A Film Review

The Disaster Artist (2017): ‘The Good and the Bad’ – A Film Review

The Dark Knight Trilogy – A Report on Film Marathons

 

This was an analytical review of….

Best F(r)iends Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (d. Justin MacGregor USA 2017, 2018)

 

 



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