The Disaster Artist Parent Guide
This movie-about-a-movie depicts the making of "the Citizen Kane of bad movies". Sadly, its own negative content limits its appeal.
Parent Movie Review
Greg (Dave Franco) has been struggling to break out in his acting classes. But when he sees Tommy (James Franco) cut loose in a re-enactment of “A Streetcar Named Desire”, Greg sees an opportunity to learn from a fearless actor who’s unencumbered by the kind of anxiety he experiences on stage. The two become fast friends, move to Los Angeles, and try to make a career of it… but L.A. just isn’t ready for Tommy’s “talents”. Discouraged but not ready to give up, Tommy hatches a plan: if they can’t get cast in anything, Tommy will write, direct, and produce their own film.
Tragically, this is all, more or less, a true story. Based on Greg Sestero’s autobiography of the same title, The Disaster Artist recounts the making of a film which has been described as “the Citizen Kane of bad movies”. How do you make a good movie out of one of the worst of all time?
Casting helps. James Franco is unbelievable as the inimitable Tommy Wiseau – which works. Actual footage of Tommy Wiseau is so bizarre that I’m not entirely convinced that he isn’t an alien. Fortunately, James Franco is also reasonably odd, and when he leans into it, the resulting chaos feels about right for the enigmatic Wiseau. The rest of the cast, thankfully, recognizes that James Franco is using the entire “weird” budget, and sticks to playing the (collective) straight man.
What’s really impressive is the filmmakers’ dedication to recreating scenes from the original film. They overlay the original next to the remade scenes as the credits roll, and it’s downright uncanny. If I took my glasses off, I probably couldn’t tell you which one was which. It’s actually not a bad way to watch The Room without having to sit through all 99 surreal minutes of the original – this way, you just get the highlights.
Given that the original film was rated R, there was little chance that The Disaster Artist would avoid similar problems, the most unpleasant of which is the catastrophic sex scene. This features near-complete male nudity, nasty commentary, and a general aura of greasy unpleasantness. In fairness, the film addresses all of those as unacceptable and problematic, but it’s still uncomfortable to watch. The only other real problem is the profanity, which is extensive. In many instances it feels unmotivated, with characters just swearing to spice up the dialogue.
This isn’t a family film, and neither is The Room. But if you can tolerate a fair bit of cussing, it’s also a hysterical look at the making of one of the strangest films ever to grace a cinema. It’s an interesting recipe for success: excellent casting, fun writing, and truly bizarre source material. Let’s just hope no one makes a movie about the making of this movie…that’s one recursion too many.Directed by James Franco. Starring James Franco, Dave Franco. Running time: 103 minutes. Theatrical release December 1, 2017. Updated June 2, 2020
The Disaster Artist
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Disaster Artist rated R? The Disaster Artist is rated R by the MPAA for language throughout and some sexuality/nudity
Violence: People are shown fighting in a field. Someone acts out a suicide.
Sexual Content: During the filming of a sex scene, people are shown partially nude with buttocks, breasts and pubic region visible. There are several shots of a male posterior.
Profanity: There are 95 uses of coarse language, including 66 uses of extreme profanity, 16 uses of scatological cursing, and occasional terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: People are shown drinking in a bar.
Page last updated June 2, 2020
The Disaster Artist Parents' Guide
It’s not easy to make movies, let alone good ones. What do you think the merit is in trying and failing at something so complex? What do you think it would take to succeed?
It’s difficult to be creative, and even more difficult to show your efforts to others. Tommy obviously struggles to get his “creative vision” across and is terrified of rejection. What could you do to be more confident about your art?
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The basis for this film, also titled The Disaster Artist, is Greg Sestero’s account of his involvement with Tommy Wiseau and The Room.
News About "The Disaster Artist"
This movie is based on the book The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made, by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell.
The film depicts the crazy antics that went on while Tommy Wiseau wrote, directed, produced and acted in the indie movie The Room in 2003. The plot follows a man named Johnny who's discovers his girlfriend has been cheating on him with his best friend Mark. Rated by the MPPA as "R for sexuality, language and brief violence", the production is considered a great example of a terrible movie. It has gone on to find a cult following.
Learn more about the mysterious Tommy Wiseau and his film The Room. Wiseau makes an appearance in this movie, The Disaster Artist as the character Henry.
The most recent home video release of The Disaster Artist movie is March 13, 2018. Here are some details…
Related home video titles:
Movies about Hollywood are easy to find. La La Land is a romantic (and musical) take on youngsters in L.A. trying to make it big. An earlier film with a similar premise is Singin’ in the Rain. Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood sees an aging actor (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his stuntman (Brad Pitt) confronted with the end of their careers – and the Manson Family.