REVIEW: “The Disaster Artist”

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Veronica Wernicke, Assistant Opinion Editor

At first glance James Franco’s newest project may not seem like the movie for you, but I ask you rethink that notion. If you’re looking for a funny and interesting movie about the cult movie “The Room” — called the best worst movie ever made — and the quirky guy behind it, then “The Disaster Artist” is a must see. Based off the memoir “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made,” written by “The Room” star Greg Sestero, Franco directs and stars in this film about two friends who are trying to make their Hollywood dreams come true.

For those unfamiliar with neither the book or the film, “The Room” is a film by Hollywood wannabe Tommy Wiseau. According to its IMDb page the movie is about “Johnny, a successful banker who lives happily in a San Francisco townhouse with his fiancée, Lisa. One day, inexplicably, she gets bored with him and decides to seduce his best friend, Mark. From there, nothing will be the same again.” As any aspiring Hollywood actor, Wiseau goes on to direct and cast himself as Johnny and Sestero as Mark to help skyrocket their careers.

According to interviews with Franco on various late-night talk shows, Wiseau’s initial vision for the movie was drama, but after its poor ratings in the theater he now claims it’s a comedy. According to “The Disaster Artist’s” closing credits, in its initial opening week back in 2003, “The Room” was released in one theater and only made $1800. And, to make you laugh even a little more, Wiseau actually paid to have the film remain in the theater for two weeks so it could qualify for the Academy Awards. Meanwhile, the book by Sestero accounts his experience of what it was like to be on the set of the film.

Don’t worry — you don’t have to have seen “The Room” or read Sestero’s book to understand or appreciate this hilarious comedy. Although, you’ll probably want to see and read both to fully experience this cult classic.

If you’re like me, then by the end of this hilarious film you will leave the theater laughing and wanting to know even more about the alluring Tommy Wiseau, who claims he’s the same age as his friend Sestero and from New Orleans despite being obviously not. With an all-star cast comprised of younger brother Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie and many others in combination with the perfect amount of humor, and his spot-on impression of Wiseau, James Franco does a wonderful job of crafting the witty story and giving an inside look into the making of The Room.

I know I’m not alone in my high praise of this film. In fact, Franco has already been nominated for two Golden Globes for best musical or comedy and best performance by an actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy for the movie according to The New York Times. Now let’s hope he wins these ones because they would be well deserved. Overall, “The Disaster Artist” is a great film and well worth your time. So, head to your local theater, grab some popcorn and get ready to laugh.