The Disaster Artist (2017)

The Disaster Artist
Directed by James Franco
Written by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber from a book by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell
2017/USA
Good Universe/New Line Cinema, etc.
First viewing/theatrical showing

 

Greg Sestero: Tommy, dude, this really isn’t necessary.

Tommy Wiseau: No, no! Very necessary. I need to show my ass to sell this picture.

I and the rest of the audience of the showing of this movie at the Palm Springs International Film festival laughed our asses off.

This is the story of the friendship of cult director Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) and actor Greg Sisteros (Dave Franco).  Both had an unlikely dream of making it in Hollywood. Unfortunately, Hollywood did not agree so Wiseau decided to do it himself by making The Room, now considered one of the worst movies ever made.

The plot delves into the inexplicable personality of the truly unique Wiseau with humor and some sympathy. We laugh at Wiseau’s clueless efforts while ultimately admiring his never losing faith in himself or his project.  The scenes of the friends are interspersed with the making of the movie.  Before the credits role we are treated to a number of shot-for-shot divided screen recreations of The Room.  If you liked Ed Wood (1994), you might like to give this one a try.

Wiseau has always refused to reveal much about his background or personal life and the film leaves many questions unanswered.  I had a hell of a good time though.  I hope Franco is nominated for a Best Actor Oscar.  He makes the film work.

We were treated to a Q&A with the scriptwriters and Greg Sisteros after the film.

The Room (2003)

The Room
Directed by Tommy Wiseau
Written by Tommy Wiseau
2003/USA
Wiseau-Films
First viewing/YouTube

Johnny: YOU ARE TEARING ME APART, LISA!

It’s as if Ed Wood made a love-triangle soap opera punctuated with soft-core porn.

The movie takes place in an alternative universe masquerading as San Francisco.  Johnny is a bank employee who has been engaged to Lisa for the last five years.  They make love two or three times a day.  She is bored and starts an affair with Johnny’s best friend Mark on the eve of their nuptials.  When Johnny finds out about Lisa’s duplicity   SPOILER

 

he kills himself.

Obviously, the above is a pretty thin plot for a 99 minute movie.  So there are several other characters who drop in for little particular purpose.  What really adds to the running time however, are the endless soft-focus sex scenes featuring the aging Wiseau’s bare buttocks and with Mark, who is at least more attractive.  Wiseau also seems to like to toss footballs around more than the average guy.

I watched the movie alone and must admit it was an experience.  But it is even better with other people. I managed to find a youtube video with three young people commenting as they watched this for the first time that made me laugh pretty hard.

You have to admit the guy had a vision, demented as it may have been.  In the future, though, I will stick to my beloved bad sci-fi.

Montage of “worst” moments does not fully convey the impact of this terrible, terrible film