18 November 2017 | jackcwelch23
A funny, sincere and heartfelt story of chasing your dreams.
Having been lucky enough to get tickets to the Australian premiere of The Disaster Artist with Greg Sestero himself in attendance, I was excited and eager to watch this amazing story. A comprehensive look at the making of what might be the most perplexing piece of cinema ever. I was not disappointed. James Franco is so spot on in his portrayal of Tommy's quirks and character its actually surreal. His first scene having him enter an acting class with the confidence of a rockstar but the talent of a fingerless piano player. Almost all of his endearingly strange lines had the audience laughing their heads off. I tip my hat to him and hopefully the Oscars come calling. He deserves to be nominated.
That presents a problem as well. He makes Tommy too likeable. While he was humanised to a certain extent and some solid insight was given into his motivations and feelings, it has to be acknowledged the real Tommy was far more obnoxious, manipulative and plain nasty. It was hard to present an accurate portrait of him as James Franco focuses more on his quirks and his charm and his tyrannical side was a bit glossed over. Nonetheless I gave him a pass and still loved watching him. And hey, you can't say Tommy isn't sincere. Other changes were made to the story and some plot points fictionalised, but that's the case in nearly every adaptation so that was to be expected. It did capture the spirit of the story and was never boring or slow paced, though it wouldn't have hurt to be a little longer either. Dave Franco does an excellent job as Greg, playing him a little more naive and optimistic than his real life counterpart (the real Greg knew he was not making a good movie, while this Greg seems a little more deluded.) but like the real Greg was so likeable and warm you just wanted him to succeed.
The film's supporting characters are perfectly cast as well, with Seth Rogen playing a straight man role as Sandy the stunned script supervisor along with several comedians and famous actors popping up left right and centre. The making of the movie is the most enjoyable part and is seriously funny. One of the biggest laughs in the cinema was Josh Hutcherson's first appearance as the room's most peculiar character, Denny, goofy haircut and shirt intact. It was also great to see that Ari Graynor and Jacki Weaver, playing Juliette Danielle's Lisa and Carolyn Minnott's Claudette from the movie respectively, are portrayed as strong willed and thick skinned people who nobly put up with some of the worst working conditions for an actor imaginable. No water or air conditioning combined with gratuitous belly button sex would have probably broken others but they soldiered on.
Overall it's a hilarious and genuinely moving account of an insane true story. It softens the darker edges a bit too much and I would have loved it to have included some even crazier parts of the book that didn't make the cut but what we're left with is still an excellent and enjoyable movie. OH HI MARK!