Friday, December 8, 2017

The Disaster Artist

Do you know the phrase "so bad, it's good?" James Franco does double duty directing and starring in this behind-the-scenes look at the making of writer, producer, and star Tommy Wiseau's (played here by James Franco) The Room which some have dubbed one of the best bad movies ever made akin to the films of Ed Wood.

Dave Franco stars as Tommy's best-friend Greg who goes with him to Los Angeles to pursue their dreams of becoming Hollywood actors. After struggling to find work, the pair decide to shoot their own film (despite having no expertise on any part of the process). The result is a disaster that became a cult favorite which is still shown in theaters to this day.

The Disaster Artist is basically a one-joke film about untalented people making a movie that people enjoy despite its numerous flaws. Franco's film doesn't attempt to explain Tommy Wiseau or the plot of a movie cast members themselves didn't understand, instead it earnestly looks at the friendship that birthed such a beloved abomination onto the unprepared movie-going public.

You don't need to have seen The Room in order for The Disaster Artist to work, in fact may actually help if you haven't. During the closing credits we see the film's recreated scenes with the originals side-by-side informing us, unbelievably, that The Disaster Artist doesn't embellish for comedic effect. It doesn't need to; The Room is actually that bad. As with Best Worst Movie, we see that sometimes a movie about a bad movie can actually turn out to be pretty good. Without excusing the horrendous filmmaking that went into The Room, Franco and friends find a well to celebrate the creative experience itself, even when it leads to something completely unexpected.

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