Nitpicking a Great Movie: Where The Disaster Artist Falls Short
For Couch Guy Sports’ general review of The Disaster Artist, see “Couch Guy Reviews: The Disaster Artist”
While The Disaster Artist is overall a bizarre triumph of the human (or maybe vampire?) spirit, a few things nagged at me throughout and became clear walking out of the theater. To be clear: it’s an excellent movie. Consider this a companion piece to the above-linked review.
The film’s few failures are tucked away in its script. Its desperate need for a shorter act one is equal to its need for a longer act two. The movie is paced such that Tommy and Greg moving to LA is its “leaving home” act one finale, but that decision misses the mark of what the movie is about. The movie is about how The Room affects Tommy and Greg, and getting the catalyst of their destruction into the picture more quickly would’ve freed up time for more scenes from the set, which seem to end so quickly that it was hard not to feel robbed. The filming scenes were where the movie came alive and expanded beyond the two leads to feature their excellent supporting cast. Even shortening the scene where Greg says goodbye to his mom to get one more scene of Seth Rogen and Paul Scheer bewildered at the mad, er, genius of The Room would’ve mitigated the problem significantly.
The script also massively fails the relationship between Greg and Amber (Alison Brie), which was clearly supposed to be a source of tension between Greg and Tommy, but lacked real emotional punch due to lack of time. The occasional glimpses of a couple supposedly in love as the film jumps from month to month weren’t enough. I understood that they were in a relationship, but I just couldn’t buy into it.
Despite its pacing problems and flat subplot, The Disaster Artist nails its big picture. It beautifully illustrates what makes its source material (or, rather, the source material’s source material) such a cult classic, the Franco brothers play their roles note-perfectly, and for a moment, it does the unthinkable: it makes me feel bad for laughing at The Room.
I feel better about it when I remember literally anything about it, but still, a moment of guilt, a heart pang for Tommy Wiseau, is quite the achievement.
Written by Bobby Murphy
Image courtesy The Atlantic