January 3, 2018

The Disaster Artist:Comedy Chronicles the Making of the Worst Movie Ever

By Kam Williams

In 1998, 19-year-old Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) met a mysterious, middle-aged man named Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) in a San Francisco acting class. Wiseau not only lied about his age but claimed to be from New Orleans, despite a thick, Eastern European accent.

However, Tommy was wealthy enough to underwrite a Hollywood production that starred himself. And Greg was willing to overlook the eccentric millionaire’s inexperience when he was offered a co-starring role.

They relocated to Los Angeles where, over the next five years, Tommy wrote the script, cast the film, and hired a crew of industry professionals to shoot the picture precisely as he envisioned it. That labor of love, The Room, grossed a mere $1,800 at the box office and was derided by critics as one of the worst movies ever made.

Nevertheless, Tommy would get the last laugh, since The Room was so unintentionally funny that it developed a cult following. It eventually became a favorite on college campuses and the stars were routinely invited to address the audience after a showing.

Directed by James Franco, The Disaster Artist is a hilarious comedy describing Tommy and Greg’s adventures during the making of The Room. Adapted from Greg Sestero’s memoir of the same name, the film co-stars Franco’s brother Dave as Greg, and boasts an A-list cast that includes Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Sharon Stone, Melanie Griffith, Charlene Yi, Alison Brie, Bob Odenkirk, and Hannibal Buress.

Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau make cameo appearances in this sidesplitting tribute to ineptitude. And be sure to catch the closing credits with scenes from the original film side-by-side with reenactments from this movie.

Excellent (****). Rated R for sexuality, nudity, and pervasive profanity. Running time: 104 minutes. Production Company: Good Universe/New Line Cinema/Ramona Films. Distributor: A24