Strangeness begets strangeness in this meta-movie.

Talk among movie nerds about which is the “best worst movie” engenders lots of opinions (and even a great documentary). One current favorite is The Room by Tommy Wiseau, which has now spawned a movie of its own, James Franco’s The Disaster Artist.

As the name implies, it’s the “artist” behind this venture that’s the most interesting part. Wiseau is an enigma. Not only did he have the chutspuh and complete lack of awareness to think he could create a major motion picture, but his own story is odd as well. His vaguely Eastern-European accent and obvious wealth begs questions that have no good answers, namely where is he from and what is the source of all this money?

Still, it did take a sizable amount of motivation, along with help from buddy Greg Sestero, to make The Room. Wiseau is the unconventional lead, with Sestero as his buddy and cuckolder. It’s a mess of a movie, with oddities galore: laughter when there should be concern; switching back and forth between film and video; spoons.

Being a fan of The Room has become a kind of insider affair, with screenings across the country for in-the-know fans. It’s no wonder Franco saw this and wanted to probe its origins and even its meaning. How the result is viewed by those who’ve never seen the original is an open question.

Throughout, we get to see the two real-life friends meet and pursue their Hollywood dreams, but also are privy to a behind-the-scenes take on the making of the original movie. Franco not only learned how to essentially “be” Wiseau, but reportedly directed all of The Disaster Artist in character, a director playing a director.

Loads of current cinema stars signed up for a part (Sharon Stone, Zac Efron, Josh Hutcherson, Judd Apatow, Seth Rogen, Paul Scheer, and even Bryan Cranston as himself), but their presence never distracts from the story itself. Real-life brother Dave Franco plays Sestero to a smiley tee.

For all of its brilliant and cringe-worthy moments, the most glorious scene happens after the credits when Franco-Tommy has an incredibly awkward, yet captivating, conversation with Real-Tommy. Two hours of this would make its own hilarious movie.

In the end, The Disaster Artist functions as an unconventional biopic, a full-length movie about a man who would normally never receive this amount of attention. It’s the work Wiseau put out into the world that has kept the world enamored for over a decade, and that is worthy of a dedicated exploration.

The Disaster Artist in in theaters starting December 1, 2017.

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