[Moving picture of popcorn]

Laramie Movie Scope: The Disaster Artist

The funniest film of the year

[Strip of film rule]
by Robert Roten, Film Critic
[Strip of film rule]

December 24, 2017 – I laughed a lot at this film, which has a lot in common with the Mel Brooks film, “The Producers,” but it was a shock when the closing credits came. I thought to myself, “What in hell did I just watch?”

I won't give it away for those who haven't seen the film and who haven't heard of the story behind it. I was one of those who did not know the background behind this movie before watching it, so it was a real shock to me at the end of the movie when the story behind this movie is revealed.

This is the off-the-wall story of two friends who meet in an acting class, Greg (played by Dave Franco of “Now You See Me”) and Tommy (played by Dave Franco's more famous brother, James Franco of “The Interview”). Greg wants desperately to be an actor, but is shy about showing his emotions. He is attracted to Tommy, who has no problems at all expressing his emotions on stage.

After knowing each other only a short time, the two impulsively move to Los Angeles together in hopes of getting acting jobs. Tommy has an odd accent and is very secretive about his personal life. He happens to own an apartment in Los Angeles that he hasn't used in months. He invites Greg to stay there.

Greg is able to get a good talent agency to represent him, but has no success getting acting jobs. Tommy is even less successful, and has far less talent. After being humiliated by a director in a restaurant, Tommy is despondent, but immediately perks up when Greg almost jokingly suggests they make their own film.

It turns out that Tommy is rich enough to produce his own film, called “The Room”. He is also the writer, director and the star. Once production starts, it becomes evident that Tommy knows nothing about writing a screenplay, directing a film, or starring in one. His many mistakes slow production to a crawl and raise expenses into the millions. In one funny scene, the script supervisor of “The Room” (played by Seth Rogen) takes his paycheck to the bank and is amazed when he discovers the check doesn't bounce.

When Greg finds a girlfriend, Amber (Alison Brie of “A Family Man”) and moves in with her, Tommy gets jealous and starts treating everyone on the set harshly and bitterly. His behavior, bizarre to start with, becomes even more erratic as the entire film production spirals out of control. Greg continues to work on the film, but is increasingly embarrassed by the entire project, as are others on the working on the film.

When the film is finally finished, Greg refuses to attend the premier at first, but is finally persuaded to attend by Tommy. The audience reaction to Tommy's tragic drama is uproarious laughter. Tommy is both ashamed and embarrassed, but Greg persuades him to accept the audience reaction. Tommy wants to be like Alfred Hitchcock, but instead he ends up directing and starring in a cult hit. Audiences love his film and some even call Tommy a genius.

James Franco plays this crazy character to the hilt, and deserves an Academy Award nomination to go along with his Golden Globe nomination for best actor. This whole story seems absurd, impossible, and crazy, until you find out, at the end, that reality is sometimes far stranger than fiction. This very funny film rates a B. I suspect that the more you know about how films are really made, the funnier this film will seem to you, and vice versa.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

[Strip of film rule]
Copyright © 2017 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
[Strip of film rule]
Back to the Laramie Movie Scope index.

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)

[Rule made of Seventh Seal sillouettes]

Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]