By Jay Slayton-Joslin
It’s a film about a film, by a guy who directed and stared in a film about a guy who directed and stared in a film. It has almost no reason to work as well as it does. Instead of simply relying on the absurdity that is the beauty and terror of The Room, The Disaster Artist manages to capture not just the film but the vision and vulnerability of its creator, Tommy Wiseau.
Those who know James Franco’s directing career know that it mostly comprises of films that don’t get rave reviews and adaptations of cult novels (some that haven’t seen the light of day — where are you Bukowski & Zeroville?!) With The Disaster Artist this all changes, and what we’re left with is a brilliant insight into drive, passion and friendship.
The relationship between Sestero and Wiseau marks the perfect reason for Dave & James Franco to work together on screen. The two capture the love of frustration between their real life counterparts, which is the driving force of the movie, nicely tucked away between every laugh. What makes The Disaster Artist work is how it show a different route to the Hollywood tried and tested formula.
The Disaster Artist makes no excuse that The Room is brilliant for how it becomes profitable and seen around the world, despite it being for all the opposite reasons Wiseau thought he would become a star. It shows the power of ambition — and a $6 million budget doesn’t hurt either.
There’s no weak links in this chain. Every role is filled with a cameo and portrayed brilliantly. The humour works often and frequently and it makes you care for the characters that could easily be misconstrued as greedy.
There’s the worry for some about whether they need to see The Room to appreciate the film that it inspired. The short answer is no, the long answer is still no, but it certainly won’t hurt, nor would it be a waste of time to read the laugh-out-loud book that it’s based off of.
In the credits is where we see the true extent of the dedication the film makers went through. Franco boldly shows side by side clips of The Disaster Artist and The Room together. By the end of the film, the viewer is reminded of the dedication that went into creating this film. Franco created his own passion project, and perhaps that’s what we can see looking back on his directorial efforts.
The Disaster Artist shows us what it means to create, expose ourselves, and the risks of showing something at the world and have it look back. It’s full of all the moments you could hope for, the quotable lines and the absurdities and shows the film industry for something different than we’re used to seeing. This is a film is certainly something different that has the grounds to show that viewers are hungry for the why and not the how.
It’s an amazing film, and anyone that doesn’t think so is tearing me apart!
Jay Slayton-Joslin has had fiction and nonfiction published online and in print. His first book, a poetry collection called Kicking Prose was published in 2014. He is currently working on Sequelland for CLASH Books.