BRILLIANT ‘ DISASTER ARTIST’ REVELS IN THE CREATIVE SPIRIT BEHIND AN AWFUL MOVIE
Made by a famously flighty director-star and taking its inspiration from one of the worst movies of all-time, “The Disaster Artist” could have been a disaster itself.
It is anything but. “The Disaster Artist” is a sweet, emotionally engaging tribute to friendship, the movies and the importance of dreams. In telling the story of how Tommy Wiseau made the 2003 cinematic calamity “The Room,” James Franco — a bit of a disaster artist himself — connects with a character on screen like he never has before, and lets us see how Wiseau went from Hollywood nobody to cult legend.
Ah, Tommy Wiseau. If you don’t know the man behind the blacked out shades who made tuxedo football a midnight movie phenomenon, it helps to have a working knowledge of him and “The Room” before taking in “The Disaster Artist.” You may have heard of “The Room” or watched a few clips from the movie on YouTube, and you can certainly enjoy the absurdity of “The Disaster Artist” without having seen the original film. But knowing about Lisa’s dress, Chris-R and the hospital on Guerrero Street certainly deepens one’s appreciation for “The Disaster Artist,” and if you haven’t seen “The Room” before you see it, you’re going to want to watch it after.
Franco plays Wiseau, the self-styled enigma whose origin, age and income source remain a Hollywood mystery. When we first meet him he’s in acting class in
Justina Mintz San Francisco, literally climbing the walls in an over-thetop performance. He speaks a languid form of broken English that sounds like he has quicksand in his throat, and his dialect has no traceable source. All of these things, coupled with his look — part 19th century vampire, part rejected romance novel cover model and part ticket scalper — make him a loner. When Greg (Dave
Dave Franco as Greg, left, and James Franco as Tommy, watch the premiere of “The Room” in “The Disaster Artist.”
Tommy Wiseau, left, and comedian and actor Mark Atkinson attend a “The Disaster Artist” event.