“The Disaster Artist”: A Millennial’s Movie Review

Updated on November 24, 2017
Nick Oon profile image

Nick is a fresh university graduate with a deep interest in film and cinema, dreaming of one day being a successful film pundit.

I Did Naht Hit Her. It’s Not True!

Oh hi, readers! The Disaster Artist is a biographical comedy directed by James Franco, also starring James Franco, Dave Franco and Seth Rogen. The film is based on the true story of writer/director/actor/producer Tommy Wiseau (played by James Franco), the man behind what most people consider the worst movie ever made: The Room. The Room has gained a cult following since its 2003 release, and is hailed as one of the best worst movies of all time for being so bad that it’s actually hilarious. In The Disaster Artist, a young man named Greg (Dave Franco) has dreams of being a successful Hollywood actor, and, upon meeting the mysterious Tommy Wiseau, decides to move to Los Angeles with him to pursue his dream. Greg ends up being Tommy’s roommate and co-lead in their own movie, The Room, where film takes us on a journey behind the scenes, through all the drama, laughs and ‘WTF’s, as this legendarily bad movie is being produced.

Coming off very positive reviews since its premiere at the SXSW Film Festival, The Disaster Artist marks the first time brothers James and Dave Franco appear in a movie together. With a distributor like A24, known for the unique slate of films under their banner, as well as frequent James Franco collaborator Seth Rogen on board as script supervisor Sandy Schklair, there’s a lot to be excited about here. With all the signs pointing toward a great moviegoing experience, is The Disaster Artist really the comedy we were all hoping for? Or does it need to “get out, get out, get out of our lives?!”

Initial Thoughts

We got the results of the test back. Unlike The Room, The Disaster Artist succeeds in being funny while also being executed with precision and skill. Telling the story of Tommy and Greg’s first encounter all the way up to the night of The Room’s premiere, the film is filled with tons of laughs, mostly involving the seemingly over-the-top (but almost accurate) performance of James Franco as Tommy Wiseau. But in addition to the laughs, the film surprisingly has a lot of heart, and is really a buddy story about two individuals trying to lift themselves (and each other) up in a saturated movie industry. The film astoundingly recreates many of the iconic scenes from The Room, but though it’s an amazing feeling to see familiar actors acting as other real-life actors in a good movie about a bad movie, I can’t help but feel that the experience was significantly enhanced by having already seen The Room. Thus, I’d recommend this film to anyone who has already seen The Room, or anyone who doesn’t mind good comedies with strong references to its source material.

What A Story, Mark!

Let’s talk about James Franco, who is easily the most noticeable actor in The Disaster Artist. At risk of sounding very offensive to Tommy Wiseau himself, Franco nails Wiseau’s unusual accent and reported demeanour. Already well-known for his comedic roles, Franco takes it a step further in this film, enveloping himself into Wiseau’s unique personality, while also juggling his directing duties fairly well. It’s easy to tell that a lot of Franco’s care and passion was behind the camera as well as in front of it, and the director deserves big props for holding the film itself back from a point of being ridiculous and disrespectful. Dave Franco’s performance as Greg Sestero is also good, but his lead performance (the film is based on the real Greg Sestero’s book of the same name) is unfortunately overshadowed by his brother’s. The film is filled with great cameos and supporting roles, the funniest of which is probably Josh Hutcherson’s, as he plays the innocent but blissfully ignorant actor who portrayed Denny in The Room.

The hilarity of The Disaster Artist stems from a combination of smart writing as well as the face-palming ridiculousness of Tommy Wiseau, both of which had the audience laughing hard and often. Part of the film’s amusing novelty is its hybrid documentary-comedy-biopic style, which keeps viewers engaged as well as entertained. But the film also does a spectacular job of humanising the people involved with making The Room. The film doesn’t want you to see a bunch of people who are terrible at their jobs, resulting in the schadenfreude that we all expect to come from their movie-making. It asks the viewer to empathise with the workers, dreamers and believers who have goals and meaningful relationships. People who value loyalty, ambition, and just the very prospect of being involved in filmmaking. Yes, Tommy Wiseau’s misguided direction was never going to make The Room great. But the story behind this cult favourite is so intriguing because of it, and the writers did well to give the film a light and optimistic tone, in line with the brighter-side-of-life mentality the characters adopt.

Everybody Betrayed Me. I Fed Up With This World!

One inherent flaw with The Disaster Artist is that it borrows so much from The Room, such that one really needs to watch The Room first in order to truly appreciate the genius behind The Disaster Artist. This doesn’t mean that The Disaster Artist can’t stand on its own and be enjoyed as a film, but it’s just one of those movies that would be much better when seen after watching The Room, as opposed to the other way round. The cast for this film is also quite large, and the bulk focus on the Franco brothers' characters mean that not as much time can be spent developing the other supporting characters, who I would have liked to see more of. Still, this is a more of a nitpick, and other than one slightly heavy-handed scene, the rest of the film has a sound footing on what it wants to be.

Concluding Remarks

A good film from a brilliant idea. It’s not the kind of comedy that pulls on the heartstrings, but the kind that balances the right kind of funny with the right amount of character. A passionate team, good writers and an Academy-level performance from James Franco did the project a lot of favours, and I can see The Disaster Artist being rewatched multiple times by members of The Room cult. For maximum effect, treat yourself and watch The Room (not family-friendly) before you watch The Disaster Artist. Otherwise, sit back and just enjoy real-life comedy being recreated on the big screen. The movie deserves all the plaudits it’s getting, and though we can only leave our stupid comments in our pockets for now, one can only fantasise about the prospect of Tommy Wiseau one day standing on the Oscars stage, presenting an award or even receiving one, his big Hollywood dream fulfilled.

Overall Score: 8.4/10

The Disaster Artist trailer

Rate this Movie!

Cast your vote for The Disaster Artist


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)