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

 

Introduction

So with every film that is released, they are assessed on many things including just how well they are made. Which has been a priority for most filmmakers until just recently. It was safe to assume that if a film is well-made it should be entertaining and should be able to sweep you up in its own world. However, in recent years and perhaps, in part, due to the rise of the internet, there has been a complete reversal as some really badly made films gaining a cult following as the incompetence verges on so humorous. Ed Wood was perhaps the very first Director to be associated with the bad film and certainly in recent years we have films like Sharknado capitalising on this movement. However, arguably the best of them, the most entertainingly bad and with the biggest cult following in recent years is The Room. The Disaster Artist, based upon the book of the same name by Greg Sestero, is about the making of this film and the friendship between Greg Sestero and the actor, director and writer, Tommy Wiseau.

 

Ratings

Entertainment:

 starfish starfish starfish starfish starfish

Performances:

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Predictability:

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Technical:

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Performing the Room

J. J. Abrams, Adam Scott, Kevin Smith and Kristen Bell amongst others start things off with a contextualisation of why this is even worthwhile. Set up like brief interviews this gives a very effective start to the film without giving too much away. You wouldn’t need to have seen The Room to see this film, although there are many nods and references to The Room. The Disaster Artist gives a perfect baseline to everything that happens and most importantly we have James Franco (as Wiseau)and the rest of the cast. The core of The Room is just how Tommy Wiseau, somehow, manages to carry the film and be entertaining despite not ever becoming convincing. This gives The Room the hilariously bad feel and is a large part of what keeps it entertaining. James Franco, taking this role on is perfect, strangely perfect. Somehow performing someone performing something bad becomes so very good. Dave Franco (as Sestero) manages to give the film a lot of heart and also forms the basis for how we see everything, thus allowing it to be awkward, funny and disastrous when it needs to be. It’s surprising just how much the performances matter and how much they are unexpected from the central cast.

 

Authenticity

From here, The Disaster Artist, somehow imbues a lot of heart to what could have been a straight comedy. This then feeds into the moments where the film is depicting filmmaking in such a self-aware and effective but also new way. As a really effective bonus, there are moments where The Disaster Artist shows both the original scenes from The Room, as well as the recreations to effectively present just how well and accurate the film has got it. Though there are likely a few inaccuracies to the film, being able to show how close they’re attempting to depict the story shows a sheer amount of dedication and is a refreshing take on the biography film.

 

Conclusion

Strangely, as already mentioned briefly with James Franco’s performance, making a film about the making of a bad film and trying to make those moments just as bad as they were, can come out with a spectacular film. The Disaster Artist has some very funny moments but doesn’t forget to make the characters sympathise-able and to give the film’s events a lot of heart. A very successfully well-made film about one of the worst films out there. I couldn’t be more saddened about being the only person in my screening – it’s a film worth catching.

 

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 for any who wish to see one.

 

Synopsis

Tommy and Greg have a dream. They want to be actors and after they meet they eventually decide that you have to make your own opportunities – they decide to make a film.

 

Films Mentioned

The Disaster Artist (d. James Franco USA 2017)

The Room (d. Tommy Wiseau USA 2003)

Sharknado (d. Anthony C. Ferrante  USA 2013)

 

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

metacritic.com

Official Site

Interview with Tommy Wiseau

Interview with Dave Franco

Interview with James Franco

Interview with Greg Sestero

Behind the Scenes

An Oral History

A List of Cameos

Fact or Fiction

A Brief Study of Bad Movies

Side by Side Comparison

James Franco’s Impression

Star Wars with Tommy Wiseau

 

If you liked this…

This is the End (2013) – A Film Review

Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017) ‘Personal vs Professional Success’ – A Film Review

Sausage Party (2016) – A Film Review

 

This was an analytical review of….

 

The Disaster Artist (d. James Franco USA 2017)



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