The Disaster Artist

by Michael Cox

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Tuesday March 13, 2018

The Disaster Artist

James Franco plays Tommy Wiseau, an inept megalomaniac, in "The Disaster Artist," a creatively crafted biography of the making of a horrible underground movie - and a burgeoning cult classic in its own right - that may end up doing for Wiseau what Orson Welles did for William Randolph Hearst.

Teaming up with his brother Dave for the first time, Franco chronicles the making of a "disasterpiece," Wiseau's "The Room," an atrocity that earned $1,800 in its initial two-week run against its $6 million budget, and went on to compete for recognition as one of the worst movies ever made.

Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (the writing and producing team that are elsewhere bringing John Green's YA novels to the screen), based their script on the autobiographic book "The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside 'The Room,' the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made," by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell. But Franco distinguishes this bizzaro buddy comedy with his stellar performance and self-aware direction of James Franco.

Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) doesn't have much going for him as an actor; he isn't lucky, he doesn't have connections, he hasn't done the work, and frankly he doesn't have the talent. But he finds himself strangely attracted to a fellow student who has none of these things going for him either but makes up for it with absolutely no self-consciousness.

In their acting class, Tommy Wiseau plays the role of Stanley Kowalski with no psychological motivation; he simply writhes around on stage as though with a severe case of abdominal pain. What most people would find embarrassingly bad, Greg finds boldly original, so he asks Tommy to be his scene partner.

The two form a strange mentor/mentee relationship with oddly homoerotic overtones (or so it appears to Greg's mother played by Megan Mullally). But the situation compounds when they jet off to L.A. and move in together, determined to make their separate dreams of stardom come true in a cutthroat and unforgiving city.

Tommy starts to get jealous when Greg gets more attention then he does, but luckily no one is paying much attention to either of them. The secretive Tommy also seems to have and endless fountain of funding, enough to support the two of them and finance a feature film.

"Why not make their own movie?" they figure.

With an amazing array of supporting actors -- Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Alison Brie, Josh Hutchererson, Sharon Stone and Melanie Griffith all appear, as well as a host of surprising cameos -- all playing off of James Franco's oblivious sociopath, "The Disaster Artist" keeps audiences laughing from beginning to end.

Extensive special features accompany this Blu-ray combo pack, including a gag reel, three featurettes and an audio commentary featuring the Franco brothers with their real-life counterparts, Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau.

"The Disaster Artist"
Blu-ray Combo Pack