Review of the Disaster Artist
By Manny Perez
The Disaster Artist is based off the making of the film The Room. The Room is considered a cult classic amongst film enthusiast. It is also considered to be one of the worst films of all time. I had previously seen clips of the film on youtube and thought it was a really bad soap opera. There was some intrigue due to the really bad acting so I thought I might give it a try due to the cast of the film.The film stars James Franco as Tommy and Dave Franco as Greg. The brothers work well off each other and are the life of the story and have plenty of funny moments together in the making of The Room.
The friendship between Greg and Tommy is at the center of the film. Tommy is an odd would be actor who has a unique approach to acting. Greg is a timid aspiring actor who dreams big like Tommy does. The two meet in acting class and formulate a bond based on the want to make it as an actor. Tommy is strange but has a spark and a innocent carefree personality. One of the very first laughable moments comes when Tommy goes a bit extra in acting class and expresses himself wildly and passionately. Greg joins Tommy for breakfast one day and they recite lines loudly in the restaurant while others in the restaurant look on with confusion. Moments like these show up often through the first act of the movie but move to a more serious tone and tell a story of dreams, hopes, failure, and jealousy.
Tommy is a mysterious character as we do not ever know his age or where he truly is from, he only says that he is from Louisiana. He also seems to have a substantial amount of money but he never explains how he came about having it. Greg also questions where he is from due to his European accent. The two have the same dreams and aspirations to make it in Hollywood and quickly move from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Tommy has an apartment there and invites Greg to stay with him and try to make it as actors together. They struggle at first. Tommy goes to auditions but hilariously bombs them and no one can take him as hero as he is often considered a villain or a great dracula! Greg is picked up by an agency but does not ever get the chance to act due to his movie not being put into production.
Failures do not deter them though as Tommy comes up with the brilliant idea to create a movie of their own and have him and Greg star in it. Greg with his naive and curious personality agrees that they should do their own film and is encouraged by Tommy to take the part of Mark. Tommy writes the part of Johnny for himself and in his eyes considers Johnny a “good looking/hero type”. The amature film makers , at first, spare no expense and move to shoot on film and digitally and hire a cast and crew. Things go ok at first but soon the film deals with issues especially with Tommy. Tommy’s acting is questionable as he forgets his lines often. He grows jealous of his friend Greg due to him having a girlfriend and outside opportunities to act. Lastly, Tommy hired a special behind the scenes cameraman and comes to find out that the crew despises him and thinks Greg is trying to sabotage and doublecross him.
As the film moves to a conclusion Tommy and Greg’s friendship deteriorates and the Room finally comes to an incohesive, horribly acted, and disasterily end. Times passes and Tommy finally completes the Room and sets a date for the premiere and personally invites Greg to the premiere. He agrees to go with Tommy to the premiere and the “Drama” has an odd face shot of Johnny, the lead character’s face, plastered on billboards throughout the city. The full cast and crew do show at the premiere and the theater is packed. Early on everyone is aghast at what they are watching and watch on with confusion much like the people at the restaurant the morning Greg and Tommy recited lines. It becomes all too much for Tommy to handle and he walks out but is quickly followed by Greg. He tries to console him. Inside the theater confusion soon turns to laughing and cheers. Greg notices and uses this as reason for Tommy to cheer up. He opens the door to the theater and tells Tommy to realize that his creation has sparked laugher and entertainment albeit for different reasons but it’s still a positive and Tommy laughs. Tommy goes up on stage to cheers and whistles and he finally gets recognition for his vision.
Although Tommy had the vision of being a hero and a great actor with a story to tell. He really wants to achieve his dreams and receives recognition not in ways that he ever thought but that alone is still a win. The story of having dreams and aspirations and not letting anything deter you from that is relatable to me. The story is wacky but funny and it’s so bad that it’s good. James and Dave Franco work well together and the two brothers tell the story with great acting and gel well. I would recommend this film to anyone who likes a comedy with a bit of a serious tone. Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Josh Hutcherson, and Hannibal Buress make great cameos in the movie and fans of these actors will enjoy this one.