Oh hai, readers... So, the champions of 2017, A24, are back with another film to close out a great year for them; this time, diving into the making of one of the worst films ever made, The Room, in James Franco's The Disaster Artist.

Ever since it premiered in 2003, The Room has been hailed by many as one of the worst films ever made... but it has since gained a huge cult following because it's so bad it's good. 14 years later and the film is still a hit, selling out midnight screenings all over the globe, and its enigmatic creator - Tommy Wiseau - has become a beloved icon. Based on his co-star and best friend Greg Sestero's book of the same name, The Disaster Artist tells the story of the man, the myth, the legend (James Franco) and the making of his cult classic; constantly getting turned down and told they weren't good enough to make it as actors, Wiseau and Greg (Dave Franco) set about paving their own way into the industry by making their own film - funded from the former's seemingly bottomless pockets of wealth - called 'The Room', which Wiseau wrote, directed, produced, and starred in.
Right from the opening scene, The Disaster Artist is hilarious. We are quickly introduced to Greg and Wiseau and their friendship is established and the undeniable oddness of Tommy's personality, his speech patterns and mannerisms all often find themselves providing a lot of humour and a lot of laughs. The writing is sharp and witty and the film is full of such brilliant comedy as a result of this; thankfully though, the film never feels satirical or like a parody - as it perhaps could have - and there is a lot of sincerity to it too. Sure, we laugh at Tommy's whole personality but the film shows us both sides of the coin and we get to see the human side of this man too - he has a dream like all of us, and he is passionate, and it's inspiring seeing him, against all odds, despite what everyone told him, go out there and create HIS film. The film has a tragic edge to it, in this regard, as everyone around him slowly starts to lose hope for the film, or in seeing Wiseau realise it's not as great as he first thought, and having to adjust to the reaction the film gets when it premieres.

James Franco, as both actor and director here, displays a masterclass of work. His performance as Wiseau is one that could have easily become grating to watch after a while, with the novelty of this "impersonation" wearing thin, but the actor disappears into the role and the character - to the extent we forget we're watching Franco in the role by the end. The speech, the mannerisms, the larger-than-life personality of Tommy have all been captured so superbly and it's brilliant to watch. He's matched by a particularly great Dave Franco too, as his best friend Greg, who gives a very touching performance. As for the former Franco's direction, his admiration for Wiseau's work and his unwavering commitment clearly shines through; he has taken this story and the cult film and turned it into something so accessible and hugely crowd-pleasing. The film is far from perfect, though, and some of the other characters feel a little useless and one-dimensional and the film is a bit tonally inconsistent at times, not exploring some of the more tragic elements of the story quite as it could have, and skimming over them for a joke instead. The Disaster Artist is the funniest film of the year, though, but, moreover, it's a heartfelt and sincere story of a man chasing his dream and it's extremely uplifting and inspiring. James Franco has excelled in creating an uproarious, crowd-pleasing delight.

The Disaster Artist is the funniest film of the year but, moreover, it's a charming, heartfelt and undeniably sincere ode to spirit, passion, and never giving up.

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About the Author

Awais Irfan
Founder of Oasis Awais, and avid lover of life, Awais Irfan's love of writing and film is unequivocal. Ever since he was a little kid, he has loved the cinematic experience; so much so, he is studying Film Production in Glasgow and hopes to be the next "big thing" in directing.

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