Jacob VanHoutan, Staff Writer
Based on one of the worst films ever made, “The Disaster Artist follows Tommy Wiseau, played by James Franco, a struggling actor who meets fellow actor Greg Sestero, played by Dave Franco as the two make “The Room.” They decide to move to LA, and when their careers aren’t going as well as they hoped, they decide to make a movie.
The story is based off the book of the same title, written by Sestero about the film and his relationship to Wiseau and is adapted by a writing team of Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber. I think the film is written very well, and the story does a great job of representing just how crazy it was to be making this film. James Franco is simply terrific as Tommy and seems to embody him. He does such a great job in this performance and resists the urge to make fun of Wiseau, his personality or the way he talks. He makes Wiseau sympathetic even when his actions are completely ridiculous.
Dave Franco does a great job as well. He is pretty good in his role as Tommy’s best friend, Greg Sestero. Greg is just as down on his luck as Tommy, but they become good friends because they are both driven to be successful. They develop a genuine relationship and have a great degree of chemistry.
James Franco is also the director of this film, which is the weakest link. The performances and the story are what I came away with. The film is just very plainly directed and doesn’t do anything very interesting. It isn’t bad by any stretch, but I just don’t think that James Franco has developed the kind of personality behind the camera like he has in front of it.
The film was constantly throwing in cameos of famous actors to play minors roles, and it does kind of throw you out of the story. The film has documentary elements that bookend the narrative portion, and there are so many minor roles filled with celebrities that it can become hard to immerse completely into the story. The content in the film is amazing, but I think the film sometimes chooses awkward ways to present it to the audience.
“The Disaster Artist” is the kind of film that floors me as someone who wishes to make films some day. It inspires the dreamer in me, to go out and just make whatever I want and not care what anyone else thinks. This is a film that I feel has some flaws, but I know for a fact that I will go back to it time and time again for the incredible message it presents.
I think that this is a film that everyone should go see. While I highly recommend that you watch “The Room” before you see this film, I don’t think it is necessary by any means. Most of the story revolves around the characters, and everyone is developed well enough to the point where I don’t think you have to see “The Room.” Plus, it ends with some hilarious side-by-side shots between both flicks. “The Disaster Artist” is one of my favorites for the year.
This article first appeared in the Friday, December 15, 2017, Edition of The Echo.