The Room is a self-financed film from 2003; written, directed, produced and starring Tommy Wiseau. It’s credited as being the worst film ever made. This, is its story.
Dave Franco (The Lego Ninjago Movie, Warm Bodies) plays Greg Sestero, an aspiring actor with a confidence problem. At an acting class one evening he meets Tommy Wiseau, James Franco (The Vault, The Show), a man who has nothing but confidence.
Despite speaking with an Eastern European accent, Wiseau continuously says he’s from New Orleans and, despite looking like he’s in his 40’s, he never says his age, only stating he’s about Sestero’s age, of 26.
Wiseau is a strange character who puts everything he has into every scene he does, sadly, it’s not enough. He’s a bad actor but he paints a good dream and has a lot of money to pursue it. No-one, to this day, is sure just where Wiseau’s money comes from.
Wiseau convinces Sestero to move into his one-bedroom apartment in LA with him so that together, they can pursue their acting dream.
Despite early promise, they both find it tough and eventually talk each other into making their own movie, which Wiseau will write, direct, produce, finance and star in. That movie, is The Room.
They hire a crew approaching 400 in number but Wiseau doesn’t let any of them do their job. The script editor doesn’t get to see the script, Wiseau doesn’t know the difference between digital and film and so shoots in both and he purchases all the equipment rather than hiring it, which is the normal approach.
Wiseau is so bad at acting that his first scene in the movie, where he is required to walk through a door and speak 21 words, requires over 60 takes as he can’t remember his lines.
Despite turmoil on the set, Wiseau’s strange behaviour, Sestero finding a girlfriend and the two friends falling out, the movie is made, at an estimated cost of six million dollars!
Wiseau holds a premiere and the theatre erupts in laughter at how bad the movie is. This prompts Wiseau to say that he always intended the movie to be a comedy, that he made it intentionally bad.
James Franco has another stint behind the camera with The Disaster Artist but it’s his portrayal of Wiseau that stands out. He throws himself into the character, perhaps somewhat ironically, showing just how acting should be.
From the book “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made” by Sestero, Franco has taken writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber (The Fault In Our Stars, The Pink Panther 2) script and turned it into something infinitely watchable and his performance is brilliantly funny and achingly true to character.
His brother, Dave, excels as the frustrated Greg who, much like the other actors on set, begins to question why they are going through this film when they know it’s bad.
It’s this holding of a mirror to the industry that stands The Disaster Artist out as more than just a movie about the making of The Room. The cast and crew know The Room isn’t a good movie, but they’re being paid, they’re making a film, they’re working and they’re doing it in LA. They’re living the dream.
The question of what if the film is bad is raised to Sestero; “could you remove it from your IMDB?” his girlfriend, Alison Brie (The Lego Movie, How To Be Single), asks. But he shies away from answering.
As much as they laugh about Wiseau and his strange behaviour, no-one is going to bite the hand that feeds them. No-matter how bad the movie being made turns out to be.
Watch out for stars such as: Zac Efron, Sharon Stone, Melanie Griffith, Bob Odenkirk and Tommy Wiseau himself.