The Disaster Artist

Rated 3.0

In his 1994 masterpiece Ed Wood, director Tim Burton pulled off an amazing balancing act.  His biopic about the director of low-budget, mid-century schlock somehow laughed around Wood and his ensemble of oddballs without laughing at them.  James Franco’s The Disaster Artist, a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Tommy Wisseau’s 2003 disaster turned cultural phenomenon The Room, occasionally executes a similar feat.  It follows the evolving friendship between the mysteriously wealthy pseudo-vampire Tommy (James Franco) and struggling actor Greg Sestero (Dave Franco), tracking them from their first improv class encounter through the process of shooting and screening their infamous magnum opus.  The Disaster Artist clearly holds a weird level of affection for The Room, but stacking the cast with a This is the End-style comedy ensemble, only to have them sit around commenting on Wisseau’s follies like they were guests on a podcast, exposes the smugness at the movie’s core. D.B.