The Disaster Artist

Review: The Disaster Artist

04 Dec 17

Snatching hilarity from disaster

I first saw THE ROOM at midnight, in a packed cinema and I’ll never forget the hail of spoons raining down on the screen, or the entire audience crying out as one: “I did nat hit her. I did naaaaaaat!”

Ahh, THE ROOM. Tommy Wiseau’s hugely expensive home movie project. Part disastrous, so bad it’s fun, PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE mess, part crowd pleasing cult live cinematic experience, along the lines of THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW – only with more spoons.

Wanting answers, I read actor Greg Sestero’s book, ‘The Disaster Artist’ (co-authored with Tom Bissell) but the legend of the incompetence and bizarre nature of Wiseau only grew.

Now, the legend takes on even crazier life as a terribly good bad awful trainwreck of a movie inspires a superb, funny and genuinely heartfelt film about the making of THE ROOM, and the friendship at its core between Wiseau and Sestero.

The result is a movie by Hollywood insiders about Hollywood wannabes, and though that can smack of patronizing self-adulation, there’s more heart in THE DISASTER ARTIST than a mere slapstick comedy laughing at the little guys.

Director and star, James Franco may be way too handsome, talented and intelligent to convincingly play Wiseau, but twenty-minutes in and you forgive him, because his performance is a wonderful blend of crazy, humanity, childish eagerness, misplaced confidence, a desperate need to be loved… and a dollop more crazy.

As Sestero, Franco’s real-life brother Dave, is great, as are all the supporting cast, including Seth Rogen, Bob Odenkirk, Josh Hutcherson, Alison Brie, Nathan Fielder, and quite a few cameos from the likes of Sharon Stone and Melanie Griffith.

Together, the Franco brothers explore a strange friendship, that starts off really weird, gets even weirder and then actually manages to become something genuinely (and surprisingly) touching.

A tale of vaulting ambition and shooting for the stars, THE DISASTER ARTIST is a joyous romp and a love letter to the movies and the madcap people who make and want to make them.

If like me, you love Tim Burton's movie, ED WOOD, then this makes a great companion piece, and it’s a great way to prepare for watching THE ROOM – although I’d strongly recommend you do that in a crowded cinema and not alone! It’s far funnier and safer for your sanity…