• James Hewlett

The Disaster Artist


The Disaster Artist is a movie that came out late last year after doing the rounds at film festivals and getting pretty universal praise. After seeing the trailer, I couldn’t wait to see it!

Its worth noting that I have never seen The Room but I know all about it and its cult status. I’ve just never been in the right situation to watch it and it is not something I think I could enjoy just watching by myself at home. I do love films about making films though. It is such a crazy world that it lends itself to the medium and has done for ever.

Based on a book of the same name, The Disaster Artist is the story of Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero, two struggling actors trying to catch a break and making a movie. Greg Sestero is the co-author of the book and it is his account of becoming friends with Tommy and them making The Room in the early two thousands. In the movie, the two are played by James and Dave Franco. The real life brothers are always fun and entertaining to watch when they are in things but this is the first time that I can recall where they are both the leads in a film together. You can quickly forget the two are related though as both fully become the characters they’re portraying, James Franco especially. He manages to capture Tommy Wiseau’s… uniqueness perfectly.

This has nothing to do with the movie, it's just a cool piece of art we got at MondoCon 2014 in Austin, TX.

Dave Franco as Greg Sestero is left in the wake of Tommy a lot of the time, he is someone who really likes Tommy despite his numerous downfalls and I think he sees a lot of the qualities he lacks in Tommy. Greg is nervous and self conscious - Tommy doesn’t give a fuck. The two become friends and feed off of each other as they seem to truly believe in each others potential.

I can’t help but wonder why Greg didn’t ask for more of Tommy’s history before getting completely wrapped up in his world but I can also see it from his prospective; we’ve all met those people who are just a force of nature, one minute you’re having a quiet drink with friends the next you’re walking through Paris at five am looking for crepes. It can be intoxicating, but the key part of that word is toxic.

I was fascinated by Tommy Wiseau, both the character played by James Franco and then through googling of the real dude. How, in the age we live in where no one is truly private, can a guy with a pretty decent cult following still be such an enigma! Where is he really from? Where does his money come from? How old is he? Why is it such a secret? So many things that no one seems to know about this guy.

As I said, I’ve not seen all of The Room and I’ve not read the book but after seeing The Disaster Artist, my personal theory is that Tommy Wiseau is from somewhere in Europe originally, at least his parents were, he has a slight mental disorder and was also in a serious accident that required some reconstructive surgery. I think a lot of this happened very young and he was home schooled. This would explain his awkward social interactions, limited extended knowledge but passion for movies and his ‘always on’ personality. It would also explain his extreme privacy issues.

When I was thinking of that possibly being the case I couldn’t help but feel bad for the guy. I think now, years later, he’s come to terms with what he made being a cult movie that people laugh at and make fun of and that a far more successful movie was made about, but in the moment I’m not sure he would have the foresight to be as okay with it as The Disaster Artist made out at the climax of the movie.

I really enjoyed the film. I thought it was funny, weird and enlightening, but I don’t love it as much as a lot of people do because I can’t figure out Tommy Wiseau. If he is just a weird dude with a lot of money, then holy shit it is great and the Franco’s both kill it, give James a nomination. But if Tommy does have other problems, even if he doesn’t want anyone else to know, then I can’t help but feel a little bad for laughing at him so much.

Don’t let that change your opinion though, go see it, it is well worth a watch and will make you laugh a lot. I’d like to know what you think when you’ve seen it.

Thats all for today, I’ve already completed day two of my progression to a healthier body, today was all core training and working on my stomach, back to a run tomorrow!

Oh, hi Mark.

#entertainment #reviews #movies #fitness #comedy

©2017 by James Hewlett.