Sick Day Review: Gus Russo’s thoughts on “The Disaster Artist”!

Some days are icky, coughy, hacky bleah days. On those days, I skip the theater so I don’t infect anyone, and ask a friend to take the reins.  Today the lovely and talented Gus Russo will be doing the honors for The Disaster Artist.  Take it away, Gus!

***

The one-sheet should say: “James Franco IS Tommy Wiseau.”

He has down all the mannerisms, from the arch to the most subtle, to the timing (as the post movie credit clips attest.)

 James Franco proves himself a complete filmmaker: from producing, to directing, to acting, he nails all the roles, doing even more heavy lifting for Tommy Wiseau than  Tim Burton did for Wiseau’s earlier incarnation, Ed Wood. (The burning question for me is who is more eccentric, Ed or Tommy? Tough call. Too bad they never got to work together.)

 ARTIST not only works as a start-to-finish, side-splitting comedy, but also, surprisingly, as a touching take on friendship and betrayal—ironically, the very things that Tommy’s THE ROOM tried to be. The friendship in question is the one between an untalented auteur (Wiseau) and an untalented actor (Greg Sestero), both of whom refuse to let their thespian deficits prevent them from making a movie. And bully for them!

 That Franco and company can pull all this off without providing an answer to the obvious question (just who is Tommy Wiseau?) is all the more impressive.

 For me, the icing on the cake is the love song to all the creative people who fight against incredible odds (sometimes their own lack of talent, bad luck, or snarky internet trolls) in order to live out their dreams and passions. If you are a fan of real artistic underdogs like Florence Foster Jenkins, Ed Wood, Tommy Wiseau, or the fictional characters of LA LA LAND, you’ll want to see this movie more than once—at my screening, chants of “Play it again!” broke out at the end of the credits. It’s that heartfelt, and that much fun.

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