Originally Published on Salty Popcorn
If you’ve ever dared to dream, you’ll know that following through with the dream is hard. Harder than people make it out to be. You persevere and try and try and try, facing off against rejection after rejection until you find that one success story your life really needed. Dreaming is easy. Making those dreams a reality is hard. But it’s what aspiring actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) dared to do. It’s the late 90s. Greg is 19 and taking acting classes, but lacking in much needed confidence. That’s when he meets a mysterious fellow actor named Tommy Wiseau (James Franco), who shares Greg’s aspirations of moving to Los Angeles and starting a career in acting. So, they just do it. They move.
THE DISASTER ARTIST is the story of the Hollywood dream gone wrong, to the point where the dreams they’ve been after their whole life end up arriving in ways nobody could’ve ever imagined. The film opens with a group of a-list celebrities discussing their admiration for the film, and it’s incredible to see just how many people have been affected by this movie. It’s huge. This film is bigger than anyone could’ve ever imagined, well deserving of its cult status, and the making-of story is a film that’ll reach more than just avid fans of the original movie. It’s a human story of doing what you love and not letting anybody stop you.
Weber and Neustadter are a writing duo I’ve followed for quite some time, an avid fan since (500) DAYS OF SUMMER. Their body of work consistently takes premises that are often quite simple, such as a look back at a broken romance with (500) DAYS or two cancer patients falling in love with THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, and they create a unique, original spin on the concept that’s grounded in reality and fuelled with emotion. With THE DISASTER ARTIST, you’ll be laughing as often as you are crying. All laughs often come with subsequent sadness. You really feel for these characters. They’re putting their careers on the line; only to have it all fall apart before their very eyes.
You can tell that this movie feels very personal to Franco. Not only is he directing, producing and starring, but also the thematics of the film ring true for his own career. He’s been involved with a large number of misunderstood or critically unpopular movies, where audiences have reacted harshly to something he’s put hard work into. You should just leave your stupid comments in your pocket. The parallels and internal connections between himself and Tommy allow his performance to take on a whole other level. If BIRDMAN was Michael Keaton’s modern self-reflecting masterpiece, THE DISASTER ARTIST is Franco’s. It’s one thing to act well. It’s another thing entirely to act so well that you’re actually bad.
To put it plainly, THE DISASTER ARTIST is a masterpiece. Oscars, here we come. It’s not some game-changing, technical piece of brilliance in similar vein to BLADE RUNNER 2049, and I don’t think I’m going to watch it as often as I will end up watching that, but in terms of pure enjoyment and personal affection, this movie wins. I love these types of movies. As an aspiring screenwriter, they speak to me. They are me. And I love them. I need to see this at least ten more times in theaters. Maybe more. We’ll see. But anyways, how’s your sex life?
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