Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Disaster Artist

Movie Name: The Disaster Artist
Year of Release: 2017
Director: James Franco
Stars: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Ari Graynor, Jacki Weaver, Paul Scheer, Zac Efron, Josh Hutcherson, June Diane Raphael, Megan Mullally, Jason Mantzoukas, Andrew Santino, Nathan Fielder, Joe Mande, Melanie Griffith
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 7
View Trailer

Prolific actor, screenwriter and director James Franco is back, following his long interminable list of projects that keeps him busy. This time around, he's focusing his attention on the making of one of the cult films that has been around since 2003, "The Room". The film introduces us to young actor Greg, who is taking acting classes in San Francisco, without much success. In one of the acting workshops, he meets the enigmatic and intense Tommy. Tommy and Greg become fast friends, even if most of what Tommy states about his origins, age and activities, seem completely fabricated and fictitious. Both friends decide to move to Los Angeles, and try for their acting ambitions, since Tommy already has an apartment in the city. Greg manages to get an agent, but both his and Tommy's auditions lead them nowhere. With unemployment as their reality, Tommy decides upon himself to write a script, which he calls "The Room". With his apparently bottomless cash funds, Tommy decides to direct the film, which is originally scheduled to shoot for 40 days, but that is met with quite a few challenges, most of which related to his inexperience.
"The Disaster Artist" is a film that, much like Tim Burton's "Ed Wood", makes the central hero, someone who feverishly pursues their dreams and ambitions, even if they don't really know what they're doing. What makes "Ed Wood" so perfect, is that the film is an ode to film makers of the past, people who wanted to tell stories and immerse the audiences in the world they were creating. "The Disaster Artist" however focuses more on the eccentricities of someone who wants to act, and be on the screen, almost as a personal statement against the world that has always pushed him down. The film ends up being so funny and ironic, for the simple reason that Tommy is relentless and simultaneously clueless about making films, and above all, about himself and how he comes across to others (both on and offscreen). It's a film with lots of winks and nods to the film making business and process, and that in itself is the most successful part of this film. All the cast is uniformly good, but James Franco manages to create a character that is funny, over the top and a close ringer to the original Tommy. A fun film worth watching.