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The Disaster Artist – in limited cinemas on December 1 and nationwide from December 6 – is the true story of how one man’s dream to make his cinematic masterpiece led to one of the worst films in history, and one of the biggest cult hits. Here are five reasons to catch it.
You’ve seen James Franco and Dave Franco in countless films, but you’ve never seen them together (unless you count a few Funny Or Die clips) until now. James, the elder brother by seven years, plays Tommy Wiseau, the writer, director and star of The Room. Dave plays Greg Sestero, Tommy’s friend and The Room co-star. Did it make for dogfights on set? Not at all, says Dave: “People are so surprised we worked well together and have nothing negative to say. It was really fun and easy,” he told NME. Actually, it’s great to see the brothers finally sharing the limelight.
James Franco’s Tommy Wiseau is absolutely spot on
Tommy Wiseau is a man with plenty of quirks, from his manner of speaking to his accent, his secretiveness, his refusal to tell anyone anything about his past and the vast imbalance between his talent and his ambition. He’d be easy to lampoon, but James Franco portrays him with both pinpoint accuracy and great warmth. It means even when Tommy’s darker side is on show – the on-set tantrums, the jealousy over Sestero’s relationship – you feel for him.
It’s a family affair
Alison Brie, Dave’s partner, is in it. So is Seth Rogen, James’s best pal – even if Rogen struggled with James Franco’s insistence on staying in character as Tommy for the duration of the shoot. “I couldn’t deal with it, straight up, for the first two days,” he told an audience at the Director’s Guild Of America. “People would come up and ask me, ‘Where’s James?’ And I was always like ‘He’s right fucking there!'”
There are like-for-like recreations of scenes from The Room
This is one for the The Room geeks out there – and there are plenty of them. In The Disaster Artist, we see key scenes from The Room being filmed. In the end credits, some of them roll side-by-side with their counterparts from the film itself, so you can see how freakishly accurate they are.
It’s weirdly touching – and funny
The Room is enjoyed for its so-bad-it’s-good charm, and screenings of it tend to be whooping good fun. The Disaster Artist looks beyond that and finds the humanity in Tommy and his story, leaving you under no illusion that Tommy was ever out to make a black comedy, as he’s retrospectively claimed. Actually, it’s a story about determination and friendship and one man’s interpretation of the American dream. And it’s funny too – intentionally so.
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