By Ben Gregory
When people throw around phrases like “the worst movie ever made” or “a movie so bad, it’s
good”, a wide variety of movies come to mind. From high-budget fumbles like Batman & Robin
to independent enigmas like Birdemic, everybody has a go-to guilty pleasure movie that they
love to laugh at for its unintentional hilarity. Yet, one such film notably stands out among the
ever-increasing pile of “so bad, its good” entertainment: The Room.
Sneaking onto the independent film scene in 2003, The Room is, simply put, the cinematic
embodiment of misguided ambition with a dash of human error. Going more in depth, The
Room is ultimately about a banker named Johnny and his fiancée Lisa, who share a seemingly
comfortable and happy existence in San Francisco. As the film’s misguided plot proceeds,
straying from any sense of coherence, Johnny’s life falls apart drastically. Throughout the film,
various side-plots and actors are swapped and juggled at random, confusing the average
audience member upon initial viewing.
Fourteen years later, a movie detailing the creation, thought process, and production of this
“Citizen Kane of bad movies” is about to be released in theaters, The Disaster
Artist. Originally a memoir written by The Room co-star Greg Sestero and published in 2013,
The Disaster Artist originally exists as a personal story detailing Sestero’s relationship with the mistaken mastermind Tommy Wiseau.
The book starts each chapter with a quote from either The Talented Mr. Ripley or Sunset Boulevard, emphasizing the tragic reality of Hollywood and the harsh competition of the film industry that initially
overwhelmed Sestero. Tommy enters our narrator’s life through a mutually shared acting class
and they almost immediately connect. The book continues to follow Greg as he befriends and
assists Tommy with the production of his deluded dream, a concept that eventually became
Yet, the book isn’t just a step-by- step retelling of the production itself. Sestero,
with the help of his collaborator Tom Bissell, flesh Tommy out as a wholly human character,
exposing him as extremely flawed, yet unflinchingly determined to see his vision come to life.
As a book, The Disaster Artist is a brilliant meditation on the dangerous power behind the
unconditionally blind belief in one’s dreams.
In the years to follow the book’s release, Sestero was approached by James Franco, who then
obtained the rights and permission to adapt the memoir to the silver screen, bringing the legacy
of Wiseau’s disasterpiece seemingly full-circle. Gathering a stacked cast and unbelievable
critical praise to back it up, The Disaster Artist may just be the lighthearted character study of a
film that moviegoers deserve to cap the 2017 year off right. If its enormous 10-minute standing
ovation at South by Southwest (SXSW) earlier this year and its impressive over 90% score on Rotten
Tomatoes mean anything, it’s that this James Franco led film could even have the potential to
be a strong contender throughout the impending awards season.
Touching on the talent both on and off the screen, The Disaster Artist will star James Franco
(This is the End, Rise of the Planet of the Apes) as Wiseau alongside his younger brother
Dave Franco (Now You See Me, Neighbors) as Sestero. Creating an all-star cast, the film will
also feature Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, Steve Jobs), Alison Brie (The Lego Movie, How to
Be Single), Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games, Red Dawn), and Zac Efron (Neighbors,
The Greatest Showman). James Franco also directed and produced the film.
With all of the positive buzz behind it, The Disaster Artist should be far from a disaster.
The Disaster Artist will hit limited theaters on December 1st and will expand across the country a few days later on December 8th.