The Disaster Artist

Directed by James Franco, The Disaster Artist is a hilarious and unexpectedly touching film about the mostly true making of the 2003 cult classic The Room, infamously known as one of the best worst movies ever made. The truly hard-to-believe yet well-crafted storytelling and terrific acting performances allow the movie to rise above its seemingly ridiculous plot to become more than just a silly comedy poking fun at a terrible film. We first meet the protagonist Tommy Wiseau, played almost perfectly by Oscar nominee James Franco, in San Francisco in the late 1990s befriending a fellow struggling actor named Greg Sestero, played by Dave Franco. A very eccentric man with an unusual accent whose background is never really known by anyone, Tommy convinces Greg to move with him to Los Angeles where they can try to pursue a career in acting. Despite his unbridled enthusiasm and passion, Tommy is unable to find any acting jobs due to his rather poor acting skills and awkward personality. Fed up with the lack of opportunity in Hollywood, Tommy decides to make his own movie and sets out to write a script for a feature-length about a complicated man and his love life, and he offers Greg a major acting part and producer credit. Tommy spends millions of dollars that seem to come from nowhere to purchase film equipment, rent out a studio, and hire a large cast and crew, including a skeptical script supervisor played by Seth Rogen. In addition to being the screenwriter, the increasingly controlling Tommy also serves as director and producer at the same time that he stars as the main character Johnny. Several funny scenes take place as the befuddled cast and crew must deal with Tommy’s poor filmmaking judgement and preposterous demands. However, quite surprisingly, the film paints a sympathetic and at times heartbreaking picture of Tommy, particularly through his occasionally tumultuous personal relationship with Greg. Tommy is fairly oblivious to the fact that the other cast and crew members constantly make fun of his passion project that he feels will be extremely successful and prove his talents to Hollywood. Overall, I found it to be a profoundly entertaining and fascinating glimpse into the making of a truly bad movie that has become a cultural phenomenon and shines as a result of the brilliant directorial and acting skills of James Franco.

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