‘The Disaster Artist’ Movie Review Roundup: James Franco Delivers Best Work In ‘The Room’ Tell-All
The Disaster Artist is based on Greg Sestero‘s first-person account of how Tommy Wiseau‘s cult classic The Room came to be. The Room gained fame for being “the Citizen Kane of bad movies.” James Franco takes on the lead role as Wiseau in The Disaster Artist, which offers behind the scenes tales on set of The Room, as well as how the actors fared under Wiseau’s direction. Franco also directs and stars alongside his brother Dave Franco as Sestero. Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, and Josh Hutcherson co-star.
The Disaster Artist is one of the most talked about films, and fans of the original will be happy to know that this film received a whopping 96% on Rottentomaotes. Dave Franco’s Sestero is the focus of the film, but older brother James steals the show in what critics are calling the best performance of his career.
THE DISASTER ARTIST REVIEW ROUNDUP
“It’s a miracle that The Room not only exists but does so as a bona fide cult classic, a movie so fascinatingly bad it defies logic. At least the film paying tribute to said cinematic trainwreck is actually quite good… The film is an interesting beast, being a sort-of biopic of someone who is mostly unknown: If you’ve never seen The Room, Disaster Artist might as well be out-there fiction. The funniest material does call back to Wiseau’s ‘best worst movie,’ so while it’s not entirely necessary, doing some preliminary viewing homework is worth it.”
–Brian Truitt, USA Today
“The Disaster Artist is primarily a pedestal for the ultimate James Franco performance — it’s his Lincoln. Whatever my queasiness about laughing at a head case, I couldn’t help myself from thrilling to Franco’s timing, his relish, his swan dive into an egotism that has no bottom. The shooting of the most flabbergastingly terrible moments from The Room — met with calls-and-responses at midnight shows — are here sustained comic set pieces. I can’t believe his co-stars (among them Seth Rogen as the assistant director and Ari Graynor as the film’s leading lady) were able to keep a straight face.”
–David Edelstein, Vulture
“Franco’s own movie works best as a portrait of the complicated friendship between Greg and Tommy, and it’s an inspired idea to have real-life brothers Dave and James play best friends — we can sense alternating undercurrents of exasperation and affection beneath every exchange… The Disaster Artist is engaging, funny, at times touching, and made with the best of intentions, but I felt unusually anxious for much of the film. Even though we know that Wiseau has gleefully accepted and monetized his own humiliation, there’s something fundamentally depressing about the spectacle of this man’s desperate need to fit in — and his utter inability to do so. I cringed — and not in a funny-ha-ha way — every time he had to explain that he was American, or misspoke, or was confronted with something fundamental that he was unable to grasp.”
–Bilge Ebiri, The Village Voice
“Even when The Room becomes a cult hit, with audiences shouting the dialogue back at the screen a la The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Franco and the writers doesn’t cheat on the hurt. Instead, they make their hero a martyr for anyone who longs to make art without the minimum requirements for the job. What motivates Wiseau? A drive to create? A desire for fame? A need to impress Sestero, whom he may or may not be in love with? The film lets these questions hover around the action in ways that give the film a soulful core. And as a director, Franco succeeds beautifully at bringing coherence to chaos, a word that accurately describes the making of this modern midnight-movie phenomenon.”
–Peter Travers, Rolling Stone