Determined to make it in Hollywood despite an avalanche of rejections, Tommy Wiseau set out to make a movie of his own. The Room, released in 2003, is arguably one of the worst movies ever made. But the same can't be said of James Franco's The Disaster Artist, which explores how Wiseau's creation came to be. With a star-studded cast including Franco as Wiseau, the film has an impressive 96% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. Here’s what they're saying:
- "This movie about a very bad movie is, in fact, very good" and "also very, very funny," writes Katie Walsh at Tribune News Service. A "superb" Franco "gets right at the heart of what makes Wiseau a true hero—his sheer willingness to try—and that is what makes The Disaster Artist work so well."
- Make sure you’re familiar with The Room because "it's almost obsessively brought back to life" in this "celebration of anybody who ever made art—no matter how egregious," writes Stephen Whitty at the Newark Star-Ledger. Franco's Wiseau is "truly terrific," Whitty writes, adding that his relationship with fellow actor Greg Sestero, played by Franco's brother Dave, is "the sweetest part of the movie."
- See The Room or don't. Either way, The Disaster Artist will have you laughing your heart out, writes Mick LaSalle at the San Francisco Chronicle. "It's funnier more often and in more different ways than there are synonyms for hilarious," says LaSalle, adding Franco "climbs into the head of [Wiseau] and gives us his thought processes, which are ultimately an even greater source of jaw-dropping comic amazement."
- "It would have been easy … to simply lampoon Wiseau and his film." Instead, The Disaster Artist "takes the vastly more interesting approach of examining how and why The Room happened, illuminating aspects of bro culture and celebrity worship along the way," writes Peter Howell at the Toronto Star. In doing so, it bests "the old alchemist's trick of turning lead into gold," and "masters the trickier feat of transforming trash into art."
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