Written by / 12/13/2017 / No comments / , , , ,

DAVE & JAMES FRANCO JOIN FORCES FOR 'THE DISASTER ARTIST'

James Franco hits the "Hi Mark" in The Disaster Artist YEAR: 2017
Tommy Wisseau is a strange guy made niche-famous by a strange movie: THE ROOM is his soul, and is unintentionally hilarious. So it's not an easy task for James Franco to play a real-life person who is so unique and one-of-a-kind, the entire ROOM cult phenomenon would mean nothing without the real Tommy's presence: a bizarre dreamer who was never, ever, ever supposed to be on the big or small screens... Ever!

Thankfully, Franco has help in THE DISASTER ARTIST, based on the book by Wisseau's partner in schlock crime, Greg Sestero... here played by James's brother, Dave... to where this movie-about-a-movie feels more like an equal collaboration than a one-man-show. Not like Franco's leading performance isn't good and/or quirky  enough on its own to make the viewer believe he's really Wisseau. But like most comedies from the last decade, centering more on reactions from the punchline than the punchline itself,  brother Dave is given strategic extra screen-time so that Wisseau's persona could — as smoothly yet awkwardly as possible — transfer beyond THE ROOM's cult base into the mainstream i.e. fans of the Brothers Franco...

The actual ROOM dvd
James relies on offbeat one-liners that work, for the most part. Except for occasions where Wisseau... a mysteriously well-off guy with an even more mysterious East-European accent and a visual hybrid of Gene Simmons and Frankenstein... comes across more mentally-challenged than wonderfully oblivious to what others around him think. Which leads to the film's biggest buzzkill...

Co-producer Seth Rogen plays Sandy, a begrudged script supervisor joined with an equally bitter Director of Photography (of THE ROOM) to provide a wry Roman Chorus to what's happening before us on screen, which we're more than familiar with since it takes half the film to get to THE ROOM's production. 

DisasterScore: ***1/2
Seeming like the two old coots in the balcony from THE MUPPET SHOW, Rogen's usual sarcasm brings the viewer out of THE DISASTER ARTIST by pulling us out of THE ROOM with a caustic, mean-spirited, backstabbing barb about everything Tommy does on the set. Especially robbing from the "character" director James Franco is in the process of aptly pulling off — without it having to be constantly pointed out by his CAINE MUTINY style conspirators...

Then again, this does turn Wisseau into a person to feel sorry for, contributing to the askew Bromance between the polar opposite friends, Tommy and Greg, set out to "make a movie on their own" after Hollywood shuns them...

So without Rogen's constant meddling, and more time spent on what really made Tommy Wisseau tick (as opposed to what ticked him off), THE DISASTER ARTIST, about the planning and making of a great bad movie, would be even better than the good (if safe) bio-comedy that it is. 
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