Before I begin this review, it is important to point out that I am an aficionado of terrible movies. I do not mean movies that are so mediocre that they are boring. What I mean is that I love watching movies that are so poorly conceived and executed that they prove to be memorable and hilarious. It is not nearly as good when a movie tries to be terrible on purpose, however. The greatest sort of bad movie is one where the director honestly believes that he is crafting a cinematic masterpiece. Some notable examples of this type of film are Troll 2 (Nilbog milk, anyone?) and Manos: The Hands of Fate. However,The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made is Greg Sestero’s reflection regarding the ultimate cult classic: The Room.
Greg Sestero played the enigmatically named “Mark” in The Room, but the one man who everyone will always connect to the film is Tommy Wiseau. Since Wiseau funded, directed, wrote, and starred in The Room, the bulk of the book revolves around Sestero’s friendship with Wiseau. Greg Sestero first meets Tommy Wiseau in an acting class and from that point on is caught up in the doomed production that consumes the next several years of his life. Wiseau blunders his way through the production on his first (and only) feature film with the sort of confidence that can only be attributed to a man who has no idea that he is in way over his head.
Sestero is not a world-class writer, but his style is straightforward and honest. He rarely seems to be holding back and describes all of the behind the scenes drama within the greater framework of his personal life. Sestero’s own struggle to become a respected actor, his love/hate friendship with Tommy Wiseau, and stories of Wiseau’s highly questionable behavior (both on and off the set) should keep most readers wondering what will happen next. It is difficult to explain how Tommy Wiseau and his film are simultaneously intriguing, inadvertently hilarious, and pitiful. Sestero manages to combine all of these elements and produces a highly addictive and dramatic autobiographical account.
Although I watched The Room before reading this book, anyone who is intrigued by real-life drama and/or film should find The Disaster Artist to be quite entertaining. Sestero’s account of a set where every cast member (aside from Tommy Wiseau himself) is aware that they are chained to a terrible flop of a movie is difficult to put down. Read The Disaster Artist and experience the greatest bad movie ever made!