In 1998 struggling wannabe actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) is being berated in his acting class. Disheartened, he is later mesmerised by the fearless performance of student Tommy Wiseau (James Franco). Tracking him down for tips and advice afterwards, the two become unlikely friends who agree to go to Hollywood and follow their dreams by making a movie – ‘The Room’.
…a homage to characters who try and fail, and yet make you care as they drown in their own ambition.
Director/lead actor’s James Franco’s ‘The Disaster Artist’ is a lovingly-made dramatisation of a bizarre, real-life story. Similar to Tim Burton’s ‘Ed Wood’ this is a homage to characters who try and fail, and yet make you care as they drown in their own ambition.
Breathing on a limitless supply of self-belief, James Franco’s Tommy Wiseau is the affecting mystery inside this story of wannabe stars. Chronically shy whilst also being overtly extrovert, Tommy is the stardust that holds the two together as real life comes knocking at their ambition. For each time that reality starts to creep into their lives, it is the cripplingly uncommunicative Tommy that fills the void. Ignoring industry conventions and social hierarchies, it is Tommy’s reality vacuum that readily consumes each doubtful moment with a litany of tirades and protestations fuelled on hope.
For those already familiar with Wiseau’s ‘The Room’, this is a painstakingly accurate story of how the cult film was made. And like the film that it seeks to dramatise, ‘The Disaster Artist’ has a ready-made charm all of its own, which neither begs or seeks your approval – it’s just going to tell its story the way it wants. And as evidenced in the movie’s end credit sequence, it is a more than fair reflection of the spirit that made ‘The Room’ a cult favourite.
Like the aforementioned ‘Ed Wood’, if you surrender to its charms and leave your disbelief at the door, ‘The Disaster Artist’ is a charming tale of what can happen if you really wish hard enough. Imagine a modern-day Tinkerbell with dreadlocks, sunglasses, a Hong Kong movie accent and puppy dog enthusiasm and you have an accurate portrait of Mr Tommy Wiseau.
This is his moment and ‘The Disaster Artist’ is the strange movie about how it all came true.