Plot: Greg (Dave Franco) has dreamed of being a movie star since he saw Home Alone, but he isn’t finding much success. He has landed some modeling jobs and attends an acting class, but he feels self conscious when he performs, worried about how he will be judged by others. Also in his class is Tommy (James Franco), who is the opposite of Greg, as he is fearless in his performances, even when the class laughs at him and the teacher thinks he is a joke. Greg is drawn to Tommy’s unique presence, so despite his rather outlandish actions, the two become close friends. Soon they move to Los Angeles and make a pact to never give up on their dream, but of course, making that dream come true is easier said than done. When no one seems to want to give them a chance, Tommy decides to make his own movie, with he and Greg in lead roles. Soon the full scope of Tommy’s bizarre persona is revealed…
Entertainment Value: This movie is based on the book of the same name, which was in turn inspired by the real life events that surrounded The Room, the infamous and much beloved cult classic. The Disaster Artist is essentially a love letter to The Room and the man who created it, Tommy Wiseau. The movie veers often from the details of the real life events, but keeps the spirit intact and manages to feel endearing, despite showing some less than ideal elements of Wiseau’s persona. The book is more about the toxic, but symbiotic relationship between Wiseau and Greg Sestero, whereas the movie is more about Wiseau’s quirks and The Room’s production. I found it to be a fun, inspiring watch, especially as a massive fan of The Room, as it does showcase that despite all the odds, the movie made it. Perhaps not as it was intended, but The Room beat the odds and has sold out theaters for well over a decade. James Franco is fine as Wiseau, getting the cadence right, but not the unpredictable nature and charm of his inspiration, while brother Dave turns in his usual mediocre, but watchable effort. The rest of the cast seems to be folks who were huge fans of The Room and wanted to be involved, but the performances are solid in most cases. While it is never able to bottle the magic of Wiseau and The Room, this is a fun tribute that fans should appreciate.
Of course, James Franco had to show his ass, to sell the movie, if nothing else. He does show off his bare ass several times, in a scene that also involves him wearing a penis sock. The scene is an absolute riot of awkward humor, so even if you don’t like man ass, it is worth the exposure. No bloodshed. Tommy is prone to bursts of comedic violence, such as shouting at people or knocking over newspaper stands, but no real blood or violence is present. The dialogue is of course, masterful and has a wealth of Wiseau inspired lines. I suppose you can’t credit the writers for most of the best lines, since Wiseau himself rattled them off in real life or in The Room, but regardless, a never ending supply of hilarious, outlandish lines here. Anytime Wiseau interacts with anyone, it is absolute gold. In terms of craziness, Wiseau is a constant source of awkward, ill timed comments and behavior, but other than that, not much out of the ordinary goes down.
Overall Insanity: 5/10