Saturday, January 13, 2018

The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero, Tom Bissell

🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Nineteen-year-old Greg Sestero met Tommy Wiseau at an acting school in San Francisco. Wiseau's scenes were rivetingly wrong, yet Sestero, hypnotized by such uninhibited acting, thought, "I have to do a scene with this guy." That impulse changed both of their lives. Wiseau seemed never to have read the rule book on interpersonal relationships (or the instructions on a bottle of black hair dye), yet he generously offered to put the aspiring actor up in his LA apartment. Sestero's nascent acting career first sizzled, then fizzled, resulting in Wiseau's last-second offer to Sestero of co-starring with him in "The Room," a movie Wiseau wrote and planned to finance, produce, and direct--in the parking lot of a Hollywood equipment-rental shop.
Wiseau spent $6 million of his own money on his film, but despite the efforts of the disbelieving (and frequently fired) crew and embarrassed (and frequently fired) actors, the movie made no sense. Nevertheless, Wiseau rented a Hollywood billboard featuring his alarming headshot and staged a red carpet premiere. "The Room" made $1,800 at the box office and closed after two weeks. One reviewer said that watching "The Room" was like "getting stabbed in the head."
"The Disaster Artist" is Greg Sestero's laugh-out-loud funny account of how Tommy Wiseau defied every law of artistry, business, and friendship to make "the "Citizen Kane" of bad movies" ("Entertainment Weekly"), which is now an international phenomenon, with Wiseau himself beloved as an oddball celebrity. Written with award-winning journalist Tom Bissell, "The Disaster Artist" is an inspiring tour de force that reads like a page-turning novel, an open-hearted portrait of an enigmatic man who will improbably capture your heart.

I want to begin this review by saying that I never read nonfiction. I can count on one hand how many nonfiction books I have read that have nothing to do with some kind of school assignment. I found out about The Disaster artist because of watching the cult classic movie The Room. I had read the synopsis of what the book was about and was curious enough to want to give it a try. My husband wanted to read it as well so we decided to listen to the audio book together because he doesn't have much free time and I would read too fast for us to be on the same page. I should probably follow this by saying that I don't really care for audio books either because my attention wanders, the voices don't fit with what was happening in my head, the narrator reads too slow, and it doesn't really feel like reading to me. (Sorry...rant over) 

I actually really enjoyed the audio book. It was read by one of the authors of the book which also happens to be one of the lead actors in The Room. Since it was his story, it felt as if he were having a conversation with me rather than reading to me. His voice was expressive and he only changed his voice for the portions of the book where he imitated Tommy and other people involved in the story that had some sort of accent. I was so impressed by Greg Sestero's ability to imitate Tommy Wiseau. It is not an easy accent to pull off because it sounds like a combination of European accents. 

It was interesting to learn more about the cast, crew, and director of The Room. The book was descriptive, funny, and at times heartbreaking. I thought that it would just be a book about how crazy Tommy is and how horrible the movie turned out but it was more than that. Greg takes the reader on a journey not only into his life during that time period but also into Tommy's life before and behind the scenes of the making of The Room. I have to say that I did not care for Tommy much before reading this because he seemed arrogant when he was interviewed and the book did not help his case. I found him to be an uncaring dictator that only did things that would further his own needs and wants. There was a point in the book where I felt bad for him because he went through so much when he was younger but that doesn't make up for the way that he treated people later on in his life. Going through trials in life does not excuse people to treat others poorly.

Overall, I think that Greg is trying to tell more than a story about being involved in the making of one of the best worst movies ever. I think that the main point in the story is  following your dreams no matter what people say or think. It's about believing in yourself when no one else does and not changing yourself to fit into the mold of what others think is acceptable.

1 comment:

  1. I can’t go see this movie. It just looks too painfully bad. I’m glad you enjoyed the book. And I’m glad you liked the audiobook. I love audiobooks. I always turn the speed way up so it reads faster. I can’t stand the slow narration either.