Updated on November 14, 2015
2. ‘The Disaster Artist’ by Greg Sestero
Have you ever seen the terrible movie The Room? It’s my favourite bad movie EVER. It’s awful: the dialogue is painfully awkward; the plot hangs together like fifty year old underwear; and it’s writer/director/star, Tommy Wiseau, is a man of such unfathomable talentlessness that the whole movie has the captivating horror of a car crash. I’ve seen it eight times in the past two years.
When I found out that one of the leading actors – Greg Sestero, who plays Mark – had written a behind the scenes book about filming the thing, I had to have it. My boyfriend bought me The Disaster Artist for Christmas and we’d both read it within just a few days.
The book is both hilarious and moving as we learn ever more about the troubled man that is Tommy Wiseau. He’s an inherently private, often paranoid man and I can’t help but wonder how he feels about this book – for a man who couldn’t bear to have his work colleagues know his home address, goodness knows how he’s dealing with this level of exposure.
Greg and Tommy first met in an acting class in San Francisco. Greg was drawn to Tommy, fascinated by his determination in the face of his absolute lack of acting ability. The pair became friends, even lived together in Los Angeles for a while, but when Tommy learned that Greg had been talking about him to his other friends he dealt with his embarrassment by speeding down the highway with Greg in his car, screaming at him.
As dark as some of the anecdotes are, the book is for the most part a hilarious collection of anecdotes centred around the filming of The Room. Tommy frequently bellows at the cast and crew, walks onto set to act with his pockets still full of miscellaneous crap, dismantles sets before he’s finished with them and – in my favourite anecdote of all – spends hours recording SEVEN SECONDS of footage because he cannot remember his lines.
I thought I’d spotted all the flaws it was possible to spot in this movie but Greg points out even more, which just goes to show that this movie plumbs deeper depths of awfulness than any one human can begin to fathom alone. Well, there isn’t much hope for someone who names his movie character ‘Mark’, after ‘Mark Damon’.
A must read if you’ve seen and loved the film. If you haven’t seen it, remedy that instantly. Seriously, this shit has a cult following where people hold special cinema screenings and throw spoons at the screen. I cannot recommend this movie enough.
If you liked my review, why not read the book and let me know what you think?