A movie about the worst movie ever made isn’t half bad

By Aaron Reynolds

The Surveyor

3 out of 5 stars

In 2003 an eccentric visionary named Tommy Wiseau independently wrote, produced, directed and starred in “The Room” – what many have come to acknowledge as one of the worst movies ever made.

While most would deduce the story of “The Room” ended there, yet another unfortunate example of a bad film in a cutthroat industry where a vast majority of movies each year lose (not earn) money, it actually had a reversible effect.

“The Room” has garnered a cult following throughout the years, transforming into a comedy, even though Wiseau’s initial vision for the film was anything but such, and the story behind the project is detailed in the new James Franco biographical drama-comedy – “The Disaster Artist.”

Like his predecessor, Franco serves multiple roles on the film; acting as the director, producer and star as he transforms into Wiseau, a peculiar individual who speaks with an unidentifiable accent yet makes up for a shortage of talent by demonstrating an uncanny level of perseverance and self-confidence.

Wiseau has a fantasy of being on the big screen, one that is shared by his best friend Greg Sestero (played by Franco’s brother Dave), even though everyone considers Wiseau a talentless weirdo and Sestero too timid and nervous in front of the camera. Dejected by numerous rejections within Hollywood, Sestero and Wiseau decide to take matters into their own hands by independently making a movie backed by Wiseau’s mysterious fortune.

However the production is plagued by extremely poor creative and financial decisions, as Wiseau insists on having complete control of “The Room” despite the screenplay he wrote being cluttered with unexplainable plot holes and featuring horrendous acting as well as camera direction.

Yet some of Wiseau’s greatest flaws also serve as unexpected strengths, such as his insurmountable level of self-confidence that remains undeterred even to the premiere of his tragically doomed “masterpiece.” It may resemble a silly narrative much like the film it imitates, yet the film gets surprisingly deep as it presents a story of friendship, loyalty, determination and the American Dream.

Franco is exceptional in his portrayal of the long-haired, mumbling Wiseau. He is one moment a heartfelt loner and encourager you can’t help but root for, and then again a sometimes childish, tyrannical loser. It’s a multi-layered kind of character and performance that is often awarded by the Oscars once the nominations for “Best Leading Performance” are announced in January.

“The Disaster Artist” at face value may represent an increasingly popular notion in modern society of somebody and something becoming famous for all the wrong reasons, and while that’s true, it also signifies something far more meaningful. “The Room” was a disaster of epic proportions, however it doesn’t mean everything involved with it was, like the man who was misguided enough to have his name forever associated with “The Room,” yet with enough courage to chase his dream even if everyone else thought he was crazy.

 

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