This is why I love Cinema
Wow. What a film. I think I'm going to be higher on The Disaster Artist than some because I, for one, am hopelessly in love with the movies. If you're anything like me then this film will definitely tug on your heartstrings. (And you'll know it, too) But either way..... I had very high expectations for The Disaster Artist, and man oh man did James Franco and company hit this one out of the park. Yes, it's a film about the making of the best worst movie of all time, (check out my review of The Room here!) but it's still approachable for everyone. Because honestly, this is the story about two best friends trying to pursue their dreams together. Even if they aren't particularly good at said dreams. Who can't appreciate that, right?
Let's start out with the good, which is most of this film. The movie features an all-star cast behind Dave and James Franco, and you can tell that all of them put a lot of care and love into their roles, no matter how small. Ari Graynor's performance as The Room's 'Lisa' was so on point it was kind of freaky. She captured the mannerisms of Juliette extremely well. Josh Hutcherson and Zac Efron are freaking great together, both on-screen and off. Jacki Weaver is wonderful as The Room's 'Claudette.' And of course, we have James Franco with what is undoubtedly his best performance since (at least) 2012's Spring Breakers. His Tommy Wiseau is incredible, and is one of the best performances I've seen all year. His accent, mannerisms, and overall attention-to-detail is fantastic. His friendship with Greg (played by brother Dave Franco in what is their first co-lead performance together) is at the forefront of this movie. Their chemistry is awesome, (as it should be with two brothers) but you find yourself really feeling for them as the movie goes on. Their story arc together is extremely engaging, to the point that the actual "making of" The Room is just something of a sideshow. Additionally, the shroud of mystery that surrounds Tommy Wiseau is still intact here, which I really appreciate. The fact that it was an actual plot point in the movie (at one point Greg is mad at Tommy and asks him where he's from in front of cameras to upset him) is awesome, and further solidifies my point about the mystery of Wiseau being a major reason as to why The Room still garners sold-out midnight screenings to this day.
It's tough for a movie to straddle the line of comedy and drama well, but The Disaster Artist does exactly that. There are some sequences here where I laughed harder than I have in any other movie this year, then suddenly the very next scene the film is tugging on my heartstrings for one reason or another. It does make the tone unpredictable which was a tad distracting, but geez is that a minute complaint. Then again most of my complaints with this film are relatively minute. On that note.... (I know, great segue, right?) It did bother me a tad when Wiseau and co. made the transition from drama to comedy with The Room so quickly, and how quickly Wiseau himself accepts this fact. That "Eight Months Later" intertitle was unfortunate, but this entire complaint can really be summed up as "I want more movie!" If anything, that's a good thing. The movie does only come in at 104 minutes, and I wish it had been 144 minutes, so we could have dived deeper into the "making of" portion a bit more. But, as I mentioned before, this film really isn't about that.
This is why I love The Disaster Artist so much. It's a work of love for all those out there trying to chase their dreams. Films like La La Land also have these themes, and (obviously) I appreciate those too, but I REALLY appreciate The Disaster Artist's interpretation of this because it's a tribute to everyone trying to chase their dreams, regardless of how good or bad you may be at it. Jacki Weaver's character, Carolyn, has the line that hits this point home in the film, and is my favorite moment of the year so far. She's eating lunch with other members of the cast on the set of The Room, and by this point they all know they're in a complete disaster of a motion picture. The mood is somber, but still surprisingly upbeat for a crew that already knows that what they're currently working on will likely be the worst thing they ever put their names too. While they're eating, someone asks Carolyn something to the effect of "Why are you here? Why do you drive 50 miles to work every day?" and her reply is "Because even the worst day on a movie set is better than every other day." If that doesn't inspire you, I don't know what will. This is one of the best movies of the year, (and my "favorite" so far) and it's well worth your time, regardless of whether you have seen The Room or not. James Franco has crafted a wonderful love letter to cinema and all "the fools who dream" (to quote La La Land) with his brother and best friends. It's a marvelous film and worth every second of your time. See it with confidence.
The Critique: A beautiful, inspirational film about chasing your dreams no matter what, The Disaster Artist is one of the best movies of the year thanks to its stellar performances and a spectacular story that successfully rides the fine line between drama and comedy.
The Recommendation: An absolute must-see for everyone! See it with great confidence!
The Verdict: 9.5/10 Almost Perfect