The Disaster Artist (2017)

Despite a fascinating backstory, a solid screenplay and the enthusiastic participation of an all-star cast, James Franco’s “The Disaster Artist” often plays like a subpar television movie. Based on Greg Sestero and Tom Bissell’s 2013 book about the filming of 2003’s cult phenomenon “The Room,” the movie is at once fascinated and repulsed by central subject Tommy Wiseau, the enigmatic director of “The Room” played here by Franco. Franco’s performance is more a collection of idiosyncrasies than an effective characterization, but he’s fascinating to watch. The narrative is straightforward and manages to illuminate some of more inexplicable moments from “The Room,” and the nonstop celebrity cameos (from Zac Efron to Sharon Stone, etc) are a lot of fun, but ultimately the movie feels like a missed opportunity. Supporting performers Seth Rogen and Paul Scheer deliver effective performances as the beleaguered production crew of “The Room.”

Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)

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