What happens when you love an actor but they then also become a director, does it mean you will love their directing too? Well in the case of James Franco the answer is a ‘Maybe’ and there is no better example to give you than the film The Disaster Artist which hit the cinema screens in December 2017.
The Disaster Artist is the 14th film Franco has directed, and if you haven’t seen the whole film yet, a glance of the trailer goes some way to helping answer whether or not it is Franco’s ‘worst film ever’?
The film follows the real-life story of Tommy Wiseau (played by Franco himself) and his experience of developing and directing one of his most famous films, The Room (2003), a yawn-inducing film which some film geeks say has cult status; a status which must be why we find a good actor like James Franco directing it.
Basically, the film is about two aspiring actors who meet, become good friends and want to make it big in Hollywood. Add the fact that Tommy’s friend Greg Sestero is played by Dave Franco (yes Tommy’s real-life brother) and it should make for some good on-screen chemistry.
Do you like Marmite?
The reason I am suddenly asking you this is, we all know the advertising slogan for the Marmite brand is “You either love it or hate it,” and that’s a perfect way to think about this film. Actually, if I am fair, I would say that the slogan applies to each scene of the film, mainly because the cameo list is pretty impressive with the likes of Zac Efron and Sharon Stone making appearances.
For me though, when it comes to Marmite, I am on the fence; sometimes I like it, and other times I don’t. The Disaster Artist is also like that for me. Visually it looks nice, the cast seems nice, Franco’s done an okay job of directing it, yet somehow movies have a way of being like cake recipes; sometimes you can follow all of the recipe instructions and yet the cake doesn’t taste like it should.
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For example, in one scene Greg is on top of a woman. They are both naked and copying a scene from The Room, one where they are supposed to be having sex. Greg is positioned high up, and the woman notices that his private parts are aiming too far up her body. Cue a line from Seth Rogan (who acts throughout the film as the script supervisor); he should make the scene funny, right? Wrong.
I hate movie reviews that sit on the fence but in this case the answer as to whether or not the Disaster Artist Movie is Franco’s ‘worst film ever’? Is undecided. If I had to I would probably say regarding directing; it is not Franco’s worst film ever but regarding acting it could be; not because he’s a bad actor but because this film was so far up its own backside he had nowhere to act. For film geeks, yes if you are a lover of The Room then this may become another film to add to your library, but for me, no thanks.