The Disaster

If you have not seen 2003’s The Room, please do yourself a favor and do so. Once every 10 years, a bad movie comes out that strikes the perfect cord, one that is it so fun because it is so bad.

The Room is one of the worst films of all time, while The Disaster Artist is one of my favorites of 2017. Director and star James Franco became infatuated with The Room, so he decided to seek out its famed director Tommy Wiseau and make a bio-pic out of his story.

And so, The Disaster Artist was born as an homage to The Room while being a profile on this odd guy. Wiseau is a mystery as are his accent and his age — but his commitment to being a Hollywood star is prominently known.

Franco becomes Wiseau, flawlessly, which makes this bio-pic practically a remake of the cult classic original. Failing in Hollywood, Wiseau is an odd guy who befriends fellow starving actor Greg (Dave Franco) to make a movie together. We soon realized the frustration Wiseau has with Hollywood as he takes it out on his cast.

He is a man with passion, but little knowledge of the world around him.With an outrageous script and an unknown budget, Franco transports the audience into the making of The Room. On the set of the film, we watch Wiseau’s love for his movie come out, but his insecurities hold him back from connecting with his film crew. Seth Rogan, Ari Graynor, Paul Scheer, Josh Hutcherson and Zac Efron all have shining moments as people trapped in Wiseau’s tangled movie web.

Seen through the perspective of Greg, we watch a man who is difficult to love, but you find yourself smiling and rooting for him. Even when Wiseau is wrong, irritating, incompetent and downright mean, we care for him. We know as do those who were involved that Wiseau created a bad movie, but as an audience, we are happy for him.

I found myself laughing throughout and smiling with glee in the final scenes, which even though contrived, worked well. Franco won a Golden Globe for his performance in The Disaster Artist; I expect the same outcome at the Academy Awards. My hope is Franco re-shot The Room scene by scene and will re-release it with him as the main character. One can only dream.

The Disaster Artist — A

With a background in film history and studies, Dustyn Dubuque was formerly the film critic of River Falls Voice. He can be reached at dustyn.dubuque@hotmail.com

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Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

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