James Franco has 146 film credits as an actor according to the website, imdb.com. The credits include The Disaster Artist which was released earlier this month. Practice makes perfect as Franco is unrecognizable, due to his transformed look and strange speech patterns, becoming Tommy Wiseau whom the movie is partially based on. The Disaster Artist is really all about the awful movie Wiseau made.
Wiseau starred in and directed 2003’s The Room, which is dubbed as the worst movie ever made. The Disaster Artist is based on the making of that movie. It was written by screenwriters Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, who wrote the movies 500 Days of Summer and The Fault in Our Stars. If their script of The Disaster Artist was read verbatim, they have provided us with some of the funniest movie lines ever.
Both of James Franco’s family and friends join him along with many cameos from Hollywood’s well known faces, such as Judd Apatow and Sharon Stone, to name a couple. I won’t be sharing the many more names, you’ll have to see for yourself all the recognizable actors, including two from the television show Breaking Bad.
Franco’s really good friend and frequent collaborator, Seth Rogen, plays The Room’s script supervisor. The Disaster Artist details the trials and triumphs very tightly and humorously of how this bad movie was made and became a cult classic all in the same breath. In the beginning of the movie, various famous people comment about the cult classic including J.J. Abrams, the producer of both Star Trek and Star Wars reboots.
Franco and Abrams worked on a great hulu.com feature based on Stephen King’s novel 11.22.63 (using the same title.) The Disaster Artist feels as if Franco called in all his former and current artistic and well-known acting teammates to take part in this party of a film. Maybe that’s why it is so good.
The Disaster Artist is an uproarious comedy mixed with a dash of motivational speaking reminiscent of Tony Robbins. But, the unique looking man in this case is Tommy Wiseau played to perfection and duplication by film’s director, James Franco.
The story behind the film, The Room, begins with mid-40s rock star reject-looking Wiseau getting befriended by Greg Sestero (in his early 20s) in an acting class in San Francisco. Sestero is played excellently by Dave Franco. Greg tells Tommy how impressed he was with the scene he just did, referring to the scene where Tommy is yelling, “Stella” repeatedly. During his performance, he stomps his feet, moves all over the stage and out of nowhere climbs up the stage’s ladder.
After meeting in that acting class, the two continue to connect and promise to take over Hollywood as actors. They visit the crash site of James Dean together and make a pinkie promise.
In another scene, Sestero decides to join Mr. Wiseau in his white Mercedes, despite looking like Ozzy Osbourne’s lost cousin, and they drive to Los Angeles where Wiseau just happens to have a second place to call home in California.
When they arrive, businessman and actor Tommy does not follow the proper channels. Greg gets an agent and Tommy gives auditions on the spot. In one scene, Tommy walks up to a producer while he is eating with a lady and proceeds to do a loud and impromptu monologue which is so freighting that he is dragged out by security. According to the portrayal of Tommy, he had enough money to buy and eat at an upscale restaurant but not the etiquette, manners or behavior to socialize in one.
After no one seems to understand him, Tommy pulls Greg into making a film called The Room, which he wrote. It is a romantic disaster of an unintentional comedy all funded and directed by Wiseau and starring Wiseau as well. And the rest is history or more like… the rest is the brilliance of this film, The Disaster Artist.