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The Disaster Artist

James Franco directs and has the starring role in this movie about Tommy Wiseau, who directed and starred in The Room, considered by many to the be one of the worst films ever made. I will start off by saying I have not seen The Room (but I don’t feel like that was a liability here), although I know that it plays near me regularly as a cult favorite. I was surprised at how much I liked the movie. I don’t know a lot about Wiseau, but Franco creates a character this is funny and simultaneously bizarre and likable. At the end of the film, there are side by side shots of different scenes from the original movie and this one, and the similarities are striking. I was initially put off by the casting of his brother Dave since they both have the same smile and look like brothers, but the characters are so different, and their chemistry as best friends so convincing, that this became a non-issue. This film is about Wiseau but is also about creative freedom; it is hard not to admire Wiseau’s passion for getting the film made. There are enough similarities to Franco’s approach to art that make his choice to cast himself as Wiseau an excellent one. In one scene, Wiseau and his friend visit James Dean’s crash site, which was funny since Franco won a Golden Globe early in his career for playing Dean. Thumbs up for a smart film and smart script and for what I think is probably one of Franco’s best film performances.

About Gary Burkholder

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