The Disaster Artist Movie Review
If you’re married, please note that if you follow your spouse around repeatedly screaming, “You’re tearing me apart, Lisa,” you’re probably going to be sleeping on the couch. Yes, James Franco reenacts that brilliant line from the brilliantly awful The Room in The Disaster Artist, a movie that lovingly (or not, I can’t tell?) pokes fun at its creator Tommy Wiseau.
If you haven’t seen The Room or at least watched considerable footage from the film on YouTube (ideally in a room filled with your friends and booze), stop now… The Disaster Artist isn’t much fun if you don’t know what The Room is. And if you don’t know what it is, or don’t get why Tommy Wiseau getting torn apart by Lisa is so funny, then The Disaster Artist will go right over your head.
Franco, who also directed the movie, gives a fine performance as Wiseau, an odd, mysterious European man who claims he’s from New Orleans, has seemingly unlimited money, and refuses to admit that he is as old as he appears. While claims that Franco gives one of the best performances of the year are overblown, there’s no denying the actor fully immerses himself in the role and successfully navigates the fine and blurry line between mockery and outright disrespect. It’s hard to imagine Wiseau watching Franco’s caricature and not being offended, but then again it’s hard to imagine him attending sold out screenings of The Room and appreciating the fact that people think his serious drama is one of the most absurdly and unintentionally funny movies ever made. And yet he does.
The Disaster Artist is a fun, quirky film that doesn’t do much attempt to dissect its subject as it does to depict him. That keeps the characters at arm’s length much of the time, though the decision to make Dave Franco (James’ little brother) the lead protagonist is a wise one (though even his characters is hard to figure out).
The movie also isn’t nearly as hilarious as some have claimed it is; it’s more amusing than anything else.
The Disaster Artist will appeal most to the cult followers of The Room; for everyone else, it will be an enjoyable if somewhat slight jaunt. Funny but not that funny, The Disaster Artist doesn’t live up to the hype yet manages to tap into the mystifying energy that made The Room so successful in the first place.
But whatever you do, don’t follow your spouse around declaring, “You’re tearing me apart, Lisa.”
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.