Have you ever seen a movie and thought it was so bad it was actually good? I know it sounds weird, but it happens a lot more often than we think. Yesterday, this thought came to my mind while watching Scary Movie. I have to admit it, I couldn’t stop laughing. But if you really think about it, the movie isn’t that great. It’s silly and funny, but it doesn’t have the best script, nor the best plot. The movie’s so dumb it makes you laugh, and that’s what makes it good. I guess that dreadfulness is what actually makes them, in a way, enjoyable. But what happens when the movie itself is so bad, it somehow inspires a whole new movie?
In 2003, an indie drama called The Room landed on theatres. It was written, produced, directed, and starred by Tommy Wiseau, an American actor and filmmaker who ironically didn’t deliver the best acting nor filmmaking in the movie. The story revolves around a man whose life seems to be quite complicated: a cheating wife-to-be, cancer, and drug abuse (among other things) are some of the issues he has to deal with, which oddly enough are never truly elaborated in the movie. The narrative is so inconsistent it turns frustrating; the plot doesn’t come to a solution, and the acting is overall unsteady and deficient.
Shortly after being released, The Room received a lot of bad reviews. The most popular comments focused on the movie’s failure in terms of acting, writing, production, score, direction, and cinematography (so, pretty much everything), leading up to turn into one of the movies with the worst reviews ever. Rotten Tomatoes gave The Room a 2.9 rating (out of 10), and described the movie as:
“A bona-fide classic of midnight cinema, Tommy Wiseau’s misguided masterpiece subverts the rules of filmmaking with a boundless enthusiasm that renders such mundanities as acting, screenwriting, and cinematography utterly irrelevant.”
This movie became such a popular topic that even a non-fiction book about this big fail came out. Ten years after The Room was released, Greg Sestero (who starred in the movie) wrote The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. In it, Sestero talks about all of the development and production fails he witnessed, as well as the struggles he went through as an actor while filming The Room. Because of the movie’s (negative) popularity, the book became somewhat popular too. Some actors in the show business read it as soon as it was published, among them, James Franco, who thought he could turn that despised movie into an actually great piece of art.
“The book came out about four or five years ago, and I read it immediately. Before I was halfway through, I was like, this is incredible. I was in Vancouver doing an interview at the time, and there was a screening that weekend. I went, and it was like, you know, people throwing spoons at the screen… it was just this insane experience. And I was in. I was just like, I knew then, I was like, ‘I need to play this guy.'”
So, in December 2017, James Franco released the film adaptation of Sestero’s book alongside his brother Dave. In The Disaster Artist, James played the role of Wiseau and Dave was Sestero. It’s no news that Franco’s movie also got some negative reviews because it was related to The Room; the movie was even called “A lousy tribute to the worst movie of out time.” Despite these comments, The Disaster Artist was much better received than its predecessor.
In its first screening, in South By Southwest festival, it even got a standing ovation. Currently, the movie has won a lot of awards, including “Best Actor” in Detroit Film Critics Society, “Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy” at the Golden Globe Awards, “Best actor in Gotham Awards” and Houston Film Critics Society, among many others. Rotten Tomatoes gave the movie a 7.8 out of 10 rating. Their critics even said:
“The Disaster Artist is a surprisingly poignant and charming movie-about-a-movie that explores the creative process with unexpected delicacy.”
So, this is the story of how the worst movie ever made inspired a very good one. Because we know this won’t be the best movie ever made, but for sure The Disaster Artist managed to take a failure like The Room to a more enjoyable and quality level.
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