It’s funny how The Disaster Artist opens by telling the truth: The Room, the infamous masterpiece by Tommy Wiseau, is more famous than most Oscar winners in the past 10 years.
Despite that may be the reason why this won’t receive any consideration, it’s actually the sense of this movie.
The Disaster Artist is not the accounting of how the worst movie in history was made, that is just the device that serves the purpose of the story.
James Franco, in fact, tells the unique story behind Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) and Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) friendship, which culminates in the making of the movie.
What’s great about The Disaster Artist, is certainly the take on the story.
Let’s be honest, it would have been extremely easy to make a mockery of the whole thing and release a film more in line with the group’s previous flicks (like Pineapple Express). Because the story superficially looks like a weirdo making a weirder movie.
James Franco chose to not do that. Instead, he bravely decided to take the dramedy route, with great respect yet no fear to show Tommy Wiseau in a realistic light. Not in the sense of showing exactly what he did and what happened, but he approached the character (both in performance and presentation) to show it like if the audience had a relationship with him.
Tommy is a weird guy, and I think he acknowledges that. He is a clearly 30ish guy who claims to be 19, he is rich as hell but doesn’t want anyone to know that, or where the money comes from, he talks in a really incorrect way with an incredibly weird accent but pretends to be American, he gives Greg (actually 19) the monicker of babyface…
If you consider all that, like Greg’s mom does, you can’t really see Tommy in a funny light.
Franco spends quite a good amount of time on that. The questionable idea of Wiseau’s persona keeps floating throughout the movie, hitting on that head-on at the right time.
Of course, the movie still hilarious, because in the end Tommy himself (in real life) said he always intended The Room to be a comedy. So James rightfully presented the making of the movie in a funny, hysterical light to meet that hindsight statement.
But the center of the story is the loneliness of Wiseau, his need for acceptance, to which we empathize. We never have the idea he has someone to go to other than Greg Sestero, and that’s made very clear right from the beginning. So when it comes the time for Greg’s relationship, we can’t help but feel for Tommy.
All I’m saying is that the human work made by James Franco is exceptional and should not, by any means, being overlooked.
The Disaster Artist greatest feature after the take on the story are obviously the performances.
The two brothers do a terrific job playing out the unique friendship, especially considering how in fact the two are actually brothers playing friends. Obviously, James gets to play the more complicated yet over-the-top character, so the end results jump to the eye more so than Dave’s interpretation of Greg. Nevertheless, the little brother successfully and convincingly pulled off a great performance.
The surrounding cast is great too, despite doesn’t really get to shine that much.
Overall, The Disaster Artist is deserving all the praise it got, because, again, what Franco achieved by taking on the story in the least conventional way, wasn’t easy.