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Tear Jerker / The Disaster Artist

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The Book

  • Tommy's backstory, as well as his breakdown towards the end of the book.
  • Greg's first agent, Judy Schoen, winds up dropping him purely because she wound up getting a hold of Greg's mom... who proceeded to verbally tear her apart. What's worse is that, when Greg confronted her about it, she showed no remorse for doing this; she thought she was doing her son a favor.
    • Connected to the above, during the terrifying drive that Tommy had with Greg and he being falsely accused of betraying/badmouthing him after unwittingly revealing to a friend things about him that were off-limits, Tommy then told him that whatever feelings of trust and friendship he had for him had gone away. As Greg was getting out of the car, his words actually made him cry, not just because of how he was being abandoned by a friend due to a misunderstanding and that his possible dreams of being an actor were dashed, but he had to realize that his mother was right about Hollywood and acting all along. Even as Tommy almost immediately forgave him and insisted that he felt he could trust him and let him back in the car (quite possibly because he saw his tears and realized he'd gone too far), Greg said that he would never look at him the same way again.
  • At one point during chapter 4, Greg notices a photo of a younger Tommy, with natural-looking chestnut brown hair and a pair of very untroubled eyes. Tommy himself doesn't want to talk about it.
    I leaned in for a closer look at the fridge-door Tommy as the following thought passed coldly through me: Something really awful happened to the guy in this picture.
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    • Harsher in Hindsight, as previously Greg's mother had spoken to Tommy for all of thirty seconds (in hopes of identifying his accent), only to come back shaken, with the observation that whatever Tommy was, he'd "really been through the wringer."
  • Chapter 5 ends with the filming of the alley scene (where Mike gets shoved into the trash cans and has to be taken to the hospital). Despite it being pointless as hell, Tommy insists that it was a good scene. Greg realizes why:
    In that monitor, at least, Tommy was young and had a fun life and many, many friends.
  • As it happens, the "Leave your stupid comments in your pocket!" scene was such a nightmare for Greg, that he only managed to deliver a usable take of the line by pretending he was actually looking at Tommy and rewriting the line in his head: "Why are you doing this to me?"
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  • Greg gives evidence to the idea that The Room is Tommy's distorted autobiography, serving as both an idealized version of how Tommy sees himself and how he wishes his life really was: a good, successful man with many friends has the perfect life when the two people closest to him betray him for no reason, which drives him to suicide. During Tommy's disappearance, Greg had serious concerns about Tommy's mental health and was worried that he might be suicidal. Instead, he came back with the screenplay. It's not too hard to interpret The Room as Tommy essentially writing out his suicidal urges—complete with the satisfaction of people mourning his loss and regretting the way they treated him—instead of actually killing himself. Terrible as it is, The Room might have literally saved Tommy's life in his darkest hour.
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The Movie

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Everybody betray me...
  • Tommy making a fool of himself in front of a Hollywood agent at a restaurant is sad for two reasons.
    • How pathetic he is in even thinking that it'll work.
    • Being told point-blank for the first time that he's terrible.
  • Greg coming home the night after Tommy humiliates himself to see him standing on the roof of his building, looking sadly at LA. When he turns to Greg, his eyes are red, making it clear that he's either been crying or has been close to it for a while. It's the first time we realize that Tommy might be incompetent, but he's not oblivious.
    "This town, it don't want me, Greg."
    • Greg trying to comfort him by saying that he hasn't been getting work either, because it's pretty obvious that they are not having the same problem: Greg can't find work because, despite his efforts, he's one of a million others out there just like him. Nobody would give Tommy the time of day, let alone an audition or a job.
  • Tommy yelling at the cast and crew "You're on Tommy's planet now!", a Call-Back to an earlier scene when he tells Mark about wanting his own planet. It turns out what he really meant was "I want to force people to listen to me and be my friends because nobody would otherwise."
  • Greg is introduced to Bryan Cranston by his girlfriend, and Bryan asks him if he'd like to play a bit part as a lumberjack in an episode of Malcolm in the Middle. Greg is absolutely beside himself with joy and accepts the offer... But Tommy refuses to let him reschedule to do the episode, since they're filming the first scene where Mark doesn't have his beard. You can feel the heartbreak in Greg's face as he's forced to get his beard shaved off... The worst part of it? Greg's smiling in the scene, but you can tell. You can tell he's crying on the inside. Especially since it's implied that Greg's girlfriend broke up with him over this.
  • Tommy walking out of the premiere of his movie amidst all of the hysterical laughter to cry in the lobby. In spite of the hell he put everyone through, this was still his attempt to bare his soul to the world, so he understandably takes it to heart when they laugh at it. What makes this even more heartbreaking is that his own movie is used as the ‘soundtrack’ leading to his breakdown and the fact that at first he is openly confused why people are laughing.
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