Movie Review: The Disaster Artist

This movie is both a documentary and an actual movie about another movie called “The Room” which is known as the best worst movie ever made. The story is also about something that is never talked about enough. The number of poor people in Hollywood following their remote dreams of becoming actors, directors, producers and trying to become rich and famous like so many of the rare few in the most difficult and fickle business in the world, Show Business. This film is about a little known actor, writer and director, Tommy Wiseau, played by James Franco, who after a car accident has slurred speech but still tries to make it in Hollywood after years of constant rejection. The amazing part of this story is that somehow Wiseau obtains a great deal of money (its never revealed how he got this money) and like so many before him who have failed, he tries to make his own movie that he stars in, directs and writes. What ultimately results is an extremely bad movie that over the years after 2003 when it was first released, has become a cult movie around the world, only because its so bad, its rather funny. What I found fascinating about this is where does a movie that is very bad become entertaining and actually good because its so bad? Where is this fine line between just bad and funny bad? The yearly Television phenomenon Sharknado is a good example of something that is so bad and so stupid that its actually funny and entertaining. Another movie that has the distinction of being so bad its actually funny is the movie Plan 9 from Outerspace that was released in 1959.

Like so many people with no talent who think they can sing on shows like American Idol, Tommy believes that he is great actor, even though he has no acting ability and a great writer, even though he cant write a screenplay and with 6 million dollars along with his best friend Greg, played by James Franco, he sets out to make a very bad movie that he thinks is going to be a great masterpiece. The Room cost Wiseau 6 million dollars to make and on its first weekend in 2003 in only one theater it made only 1800 dollars, but over time and all over the world because of its cult following, in the ending credits it was revealed that the movie has made most of that 6 million dollars back.

For me the best line of this entire movie was from Judd Apatow who played a cameo in this film as himself being harassed in a restaurant by Wiseau. His line, “Even if you had the talent of a Marlon Brando you’re odds of making it are still 1 million to 1”. Apatow’s other line was almost as good, “Just because you desperately want to make it, does not mean that you ever will.” For me that says it all about the realities of life in Southern California for so many well-intentioned dreamers. The harsh reality is for so many good people, it doesn’t matter if your talented and deserving, so often its just all about dumb luck. The millions of people who are destined to be always on the outside looking into a world that they see as nirvana, can only hope and pray that the lucky few who have made it, appreciate the miracle gift they have been given, but it seems that so many of them don’t. The recent myriad of sexual allegations in Hollywood certainly prove that.

As far as this movie that I thought was good or average somewhat funny story about Hollywood and its harsh realities, I was surprised at the very high marks on Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB this film has received. I would give it maybe a 7 out of 10, definitely not an 8 or higher.

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