The Disaster Artist ****
The saying “it’s so bad it’s good” applies to the Franco brothers’ latest film project, The Disaster Artist. The other saying that “art imitates life…that imitates art” could also apply: The Francos’ acting track record is highly debatable, with each brother’s own fair share of ‘dodgy’ performances to boot. The success of The Disaster Artist is how touching it turns out to be, as well as being a different comedic take on the underdog triumphing in Hollywood.
Based on a true story, writer/director Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) makes a film called The Room that transpires to be about his own life, starring his good friend, aspiring actor Greg Sestero (brother Dave), after Hollywood is less than kind to him. The story chronicles the odd, badly-acted film’s troubled development, with guest appearances from Seth Rogen (Sandy Schklair) and Zac Efron.
The film has its ready-made fan base that have attended all the midnight screenings and turned The Room into cult status. It’s the rest of us that need convincing. It earns new fans because it takes the oddballs bromance theory that Franco is so familiar with and adds a level of survival to it to give it gravitas that real-life Wiseau could only dream of.
The question isn’t lack of money – the usual downfall of those seeking fame in Tinseltown. The whole mystery of the source of the film funding – Wiseau’s wealth – is still as much a mystery today as it was in back then. The survival aspect to it is taking on Hollywood’s populist label that closes its doors to all whose face does not fit, and winning in a roundabout way that no one could have foreseen. In that sense it’s a breath of fresh air that slowly and gradually makes sense and entertains, climaxing in a fist thump at the ending.
The Disaster Artist turns life’s losers into winners; it is inspiring, tragic, painful and courageous all at once. This is one performance the Franco brothers get spot on.