Art has nothing to do with it.
(It’s award consideration season and I’m playing catch-up. As I tear through them, I thought I’d try mini-reviews. Enjoy!)
On my Movie Fixers podcast, we covered a movie called The Room from 2003. It is easily one of the worst movies ever put to film (think bad Lifetime channel movie meets bad porno) and has gained a cult following in the vein of Rocky Horror Picture Show (also one of the worst movies ever made). The Disaster Artist is a movie about the making of The Room and is exactly the opposite of The Room. The big question I had coming out of The Disaster Artist is how the film goes over for someone who has never seen or heard of The Room. Those people might miss some of the small things the film focuses on (like how Tommy Wiseau throws a football the same way a microwave might throw one) and they might be put off by how weird and eccentric a person is Wiseau (brilliantly portrayed by James Franco) in the same way that Sasha Baron Cohen characters do. But, The Disaster Artist is so well-written and directed that anyone watching it without knowing the source material will still get the point by the end of the film.
That point being that enough money and dedication can’t change the fact that Tommy Wiseau’s film making skills are the same as a third-grader who is on the back side of the curve. And don’t let anyone convince you that The Room is any kind of deliberate genius because not even The Disaster Artist is saying that. Like any bad movie, people like it ironically and in groups because it is really fun to make fun of. Through sheer circumstance, dumb luck, and the extreme weirdness of Tommy Wiseau, The Room touched enough people to carve out a tiny niche in pop culture. Hopefully, people recognize The Disaster Artist with the same enthusiasm.
Rating: Don’t ask for any money back and if you must watch The Room, do it with a group.