Fun fact for the newer readers: the book version of The Disaster Artist was the very first book I reviewed on this blog! It’s easily one of my favorite books that I’ve reviewed. Consider this a follow-up of sorts, even though I’ll barely be talking about it in this review.
The Room is one of the best ‘so-bad-it’s-good’ (or SBIG, as I like to call them) movies of all time. When you think of SBIG, it’s one of the first ones you think about! Even all these years later, its reputation is massive! And when the book version of The Disaster Artist came out, the conversation became all the more interesting!
And then we got a movie. Which is… pretty good! Mostly. I mean… Tommy Wiseau likes it!
Story: A Kind of Faithful Adaptation
If you’ve read the book, you know what this movie is (mostly) about. It’s an on-screen reimagining of the events depicted in the book, those being how Greg Sestero and Tommy Wiseau became friends and ultimately created The Room. It’s a simple story and an incredibly fascinating one at that.
At least, it is on a writing front. But we’ll get to the visuals later.
This is not a faithful adaptation of the book’s material. It takes a lot of liberties for the sake of creating extra drama. Personally, I’m not a fan of these; I find the real story more than interesting enough to hold a viewer’s attention. The worst case of this is the ending; excuse me, Mr. screen-writer, were you not aware that it took Tommy years to accept that people only liked The Room ironically? And that it took weeks in theaters before people started watching it ironically at all? Don’t think you can slip this past me, I’m an expert on this shit!
For what little that’s worth.
Still, this movie is at least faithful to the book in some regards. The scenes that are true to the actual story are super well-executed! The rooftop scene is a particular favorite of mine. It was the best in The Room, it was the best in the book, and it’s still the best here.
I definitely prefer the book in terms of real-life accuracy, especially since the dramatized scenes didn’t work, even on their own. But this movie’s version is still, at the very least, enjoyable. None of the writing made me want to blow my brains out, so… I guess that’s a positive!
I’ll take what I can get.
Presentation: So… Flat… Ugh…
Holy shit, this movie is boring to look at! All of the shots are just so stale! In terms of cinematography, I can think of few movies less entertaining to watch than this one!
Shot-reverse-shot is about the most boring thing you can do in a movie, at least in terms of camera work. It’s about as compelling as watching paint dry. When a conversation happens in shot-reverse-shot for an extensive period of time, it’s clear that the director either just didn’t have a more creative way of framing it or they just wanted to get it fucking over with already.
Why do I say this? Because that’s just about all this movie is. Shot. Reverse. Shot. And holy fuck is it boring!
Well… to say something positive… at least none of the shots use dutch angles! Those are the only thing worse than shot-reverse-shot! So… dodged a bullet there!
I’d talk about the music, except I’d just be wasting my time. This movie’s score is about as memorable and compelling as the sound of my footsteps on a long hike. You won’t hate it; mostly because it’s so unnoticeable that you won’t even realize it’s there!
TL;DR: boring. NEXT!!
Performances: Oh Hi James
I’m kind of split on this part. None of the performances are bad, per say, but I wouldn’t call any of them all that great. They’re just kinda… meh. So-so.
As the star, James Franco is… decent. He’s clearly giving it his all, and having fun doing it. But Tommy Wiseau’s accent is really hard to properly replicate. As such, it sounds more like James is just doing his impression of a moron that vaguely sounds like Tommy, if you really listen closely.
Dave Franco did a great job as Greg Sestero. Granted, he had a much easier time of it, since Greg is a much more normal person than Tommy. But he still delivered a compelling, convincing performance. Plus, he had some pretty good chemistry with his brother. He does a pretty great job!
Everyone else here does a pretty good job! They’re all pretty convincing and fun to watch. None of these are worthy of an award or anything like that. But unlike the cinematography, they don’t make me genuinely angry!
That’s a positive, I swear.
This movie was definitely disappointing in my opinion. The book was one of my favorite reads in recent years! I love The Room and I find everything around it fascinating! When this movie came out, I was practically frothing at the mouth to see it!
Then I actually did. And I can safely say that it was… okay. Not spectacular, nor is it the worst thing ever. Just meh. Too dramatized for my tastes for non-fiction.
If you don’t have the time to read the book, then this movie is a fairly decent substitute. But if you do have time for a short read, then I’d give this one a pass. It’s decent, but nothing all that impressive. It had a lot to be desired, but it was enjoyable enough to finish.
Which is a lot more than I can say about other films. So… I guess that’s a win?