My Rating: 6/10
Rotten Tomatometer: 91% Certified Fresh
PLOT: When Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), an aspiring film actor, meets the weird and mysterious Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) in an acting class, they form a unique friendship and travel to Hollywood to make their dreams come true by making their own movie, “The Room”, which has since attained cult status as the “Citizen Kane” of bad movies.
Oh, dear god.
I cannot take anything away from the performances in this movie. I have seen “The Room”, regrettably, and I can vouch for the accuracy of James Franco’s bravura performance as Tommy Wiseau, a man who sometimes behaves like an alien trying to impersonate a human. The recreation of shots and scenes from “The Room”, seen from the perspective of the cast and crew filming them, are fantastic. For fans of the source material, these scenes are probably even MORE enjoyable. I can see how this film is trying, or APPEARS to be trying, to be almost a parable for every actor who ever drove, flew, or bused to Los Angeles with nothing but a resume and a line on a low-rent apartment, hoping to get their one shot at fame and glory. (If this wasn’t intentional, then they shouldn’t have used the occasional bits of uplifting music in the score.)
But…BUT…what we have here is one of the great paradoxes of my movie-loving existence. James Franco has recreated Mr. Wiseau with such passion and accuracy…that watching the movie was not enjoyable for me. I felt the same anger and borderline hate that I felt towards Bob in “What About Bob?” I wanted a car to run Wiseau over. I wanted the crew to beat him up in the alley. I wanted Greg (D. Franco) to punch him in his mumbling, mush-mouthed face. Wiseau may be a cult celebrity, but if he were on fire, I wouldn’t waste my cell phone minutes calling 911. If the scenes depicting his behind-the-camera antics are even just 25% true, the real Wiseau should be flogged, not adored.
For me, the most enjoyable part of this movie is playing “Spot the Cameo.” Seth Rogen and the Francos called in a lot of favors with their friends (much like they did with “This Is the End”), and the results look like a Judd Apatow reboot of “The Player.” One cameo in particular took me by COMPLETE surprise because I didn’t know it was her/him/whichever until reading the closing credits. Astonishing.
So the movie is not a BAD film. It’s a good film about a jackass. Sometimes that can be a good thing (“Raging Bull”, “Happiness”, “Your Friends and Neighbors”, “In the Company of Men”, “Closer”, et al). But this crosses some kind of line for me. This was not a fun time.