I did it. At last. I watched it. The movie that I’ve known about for a long time, but didn’t have the balls to watch. Last night, I watched the myth, the legend- The Room. Of course I had heard about how bad it was but I wasn’t aware of how much so until I saw it myself. I cringed. I laughed. I couldn’t believe it. I’ve seen my share of bad films, but my GOD!
Shame on me, but I was introduced to the bizarre world of The Room by the Franco brothers. Last night was the work-in-progress premiere of The Disaster Artist (based on the book of the same name by Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell) at SXSW and I decided to watch The Room for the first time in celebration and so that I wouldn’t be an uninitiated swine when the film gets a wider release. The Disaster Artist received a standing ovation, and my social media was flooded with praise for James Franco and the film- with even early questions of an Oscar contender! Surprise, surprise. It’s a movie about an industry that’s in love with itself.
I had read The Disaster Artist prior to seeing The Room too. I really enjoyed it as someone who is obsessed with books about The Industry. My take from the book, even through the tumultuous movie production, and initial theatrical bomb of the film- was that The Disaster Artist is an endearing story about friendship and big Hollywood dreams. Here we have Tommy Wisseau, a complete enigma of a man who is in a one-sided love affair with the movie business, and Greg Sestero- an aspiring actor who is transfixed by his eccentric friend and his fearlessness. They’re a pair of industry outsiders who decide to take matters into their own hands. Through a wildly bizarre chain of events, The Room was born. The book displays Tommy’s complete incompetence in acting and filmmaking but eagerness to carry out his vision. Though Wisseau is a very misunderstood man, it appears he yearns for acceptance and wants to achieve his dreams by any means necessary. His passion is admirable. I really understood James Franco’s draw to this strange, but incredible story. This whole saga is a reminder that in Hollywood, everything does come full circle eventually.
I haven’t spoken of James as much as Dave, but I admire him too- in a different way. He has this insane work ethic and immerses himself in anything he is interested in, which is a great deal of things- much to some people’s annoyance. He’s someone people love to hate and jeer at, but I sometimes don’t understand why. He’s a man that’s not afraid to do what he loves and is not afraid to take risks. Dave is more subtle, living his life peacefully and quietly but as time goes on, he’s become bolder in his art. He’s slowly learning to tell the critics to fuck off. Although Dave has been in the industry going on a decade now- he still seems so in awe of it- and his elder brother. While neither brother has tried to be the other one, they’re learning from each other and growing. Even though I don’t know them in a personal capacity, I feel like a proud friend.
As evidence of the rapturous reception of The Disaster Artist, and perhaps the biggest irony, Hollywood is a place where anything can happen. The story of The Room proves that the most unexpected things can come from the most unexpected places. It also gives a message of hope: That something beautiful can come from a pile of shit. And if you’re crazy enough about pursuing your dreams, they just might come true, in the most unconventional way possible.
ADRIANA THE CINEMA SOLOIST