It’s not the worst movie ever made. If pressed, we’d go with “Across the Universe” or any of Dinesh D’Souza’s three anti-lefty docs that make way too much money and legitimately harm the world, including last year’s “Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party.” But if we’re talking the most incompetent, the most accidentally fascinating, the one prone to elicit the most unintended cackles, it might as well be Tommy Wiseau’s bad cinema titan “The Room.” And to enshrine its place in the history books, we’re about to get “The Disaster Artist,” James Franco’s comedy about the making of one of the worst (if most enjoyable) movies ever made. It will make a great double feature one day with Tim Burton’s “Ed Wood,” which chronicles the making of three of the worst movies ever made.
The trailer just landed, featuring Franco doing a very good Wiseau, plus his eternally boyish brother, Dave, as Greg Sestero, his very reluctant right-hand man and co-lead. The title and hails from Sestero’s tell-all book, which revealed the production was very nearly as funny as the movie itself. If you haven’t watched the film amongst howling friends 50 times (or attended its deathless “Rocky Horror”-style theater screenings, which are frankly loud and kind of annoying), “The Room,” which Wiseau personally four-walled into theaters back in 2003, stars Wiseau himself as a man whose happiness is upended by his terrible “future wife” Lisa (Juliette Danielle), who cheated on him with his best friend Mark (Sestero) and generally tore him apart.
Wiseau intended it as a drama; the ads even compared it to Tennessee Williams (Wiseau’s words). Enough people accidentally saw it and quickly surmised that it was a bad cinema godsend that never let up, never stopped finding bizarre and unique ways to be bad. Franco and team know they have untold goodies in their film, so the trailer simply shows one: Wiseau fumbling through the very simple, very classic scene of his character stumbling upon his roof — awkwardly surrounded by green screen for reasons you may already know — and requiring 60-plus takes to repeatedly say “I did not hit her” followed by “Oh hai Mark,” all while crew members played by the likes of Seth Rogen and Paul Scheer face-palm.
“The Disaster Artist” bowed to glowing reviews at SXSW back in March, which is a first for Franco, filmmaker. Historically the movies he directs combine lofty, even foolish ambition with clunky results. This is the 14th film de Franco, following several adaptations of unfilmable novels by William Faulkner (“As I Lay Dying” and “The Sound and the Fury”), John Steinbeck (“In Dubious Battle”) and Cormac McCarthy (“Child of God”). “The Disaster Artist” at least manages to include funny Franco, which is the best Franco. Besides, making a movie about a disastrous film production ought to be far easier than translating Faulkner’s rhapsodic prose into sound and image.
The movie comes out on Dec. 1. Watch the trailer below: