When Disasters Go Good
I saw another movie last night that I thought was worth mentioning -- The Disaster Artist. It’s the true story about the making of a low-budget film considered one of the worst ever, sometimes referred to as the Citizen Kaie of bad movies, called The Room, that was made about 15 years ago..
The script is by Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, the team that wrote (500) Days of Summer which I loved for its its intelligence and quirky charm, as well as The Fault in Our Stars. But it will get the most attention for being directed by James Franco, who stars with his brother Dave.
Though ostensibly a drama, it’s extremely funny and affectionately done – though annoying, too, (intentionally so) since the real-life project is so awful, and the main character is, as well, Tommy Wisseau who directed The Room, wrote the script, produced it, stars in it, and pretty much is maniacally responsible for everything. James Franco is really wonderful in the role, bordering on a tour-de-force performance. And he does a very good job directing.
All the actors are good, not just Dave Franco, but a cast full of well-known actors in small roles (some very small) including Allison Brie, Seth Rogen and Bob Odenkirk.
By the way, if you do see it, be sure to stay to the very end. Not even when you think the movie is over. There are two fun treats during and after the credits.
I'm reticent to include the trailer here since it really doesn't do the film justice. They sell it as a dark, brooding drama, almost with a sense at times of menace. And though that's an undercurrent to part of the sensibility of what's going on, overall that simply is not the movie. At all. It does have drama. And it does deal with emotional contest. And some is dark. But -- mostly it's done with great affection, as I said, and often extremely funny. The Writers Guild audience I saw it with (clearly appreciative and understanding to the hellishness of the real-life film mess being presented) was laughing throughout.
But...okay, here is the trailer. Knowing that I said it is very often quite funny, I think you'll be able to get a better feel for that than someone who comes to the trailer cold. Know too, for the faint of heart, that what looks like it might be full-frontal nudity is a quick shot is not. And one of the film's jokes. And again, know that this doesn't do the film justice.
But mainly, I felt it worth showing the trailer so you'll get a sense of what James Franco does here, dancing on a tightrope.
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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