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YMMV / The Disaster Artist

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The Book

  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • When his Nostalgia Critic review of The Room was taken down for "copyright infringement," Doug Walker produced a video mocking the situation featuring the supposed writer of the email, identified as "John from" In this book, Greg Sestero revealed that one of Tommy's many, many roles at Wiseau Films was the administrative assistant, under which he worked with the pseudonym of "John." In fact, Walker comments that while he's still not sure who sent the email, it smells of Tommy.
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    • While auditioning for Andre Toulon, Greg mentions that James Franco auditioned for the same part. James Franco directed and starred as Tommy in the movie version of the book.
  • Ho Yay: Enough for its own page.
  • Iron Woobie: Almost everybody that stuck with the film to the very end. Carolyn Minnott (Lisa's mother, Claudette) continued filming even after fainting/recovering from heat stroke. Greg especially, whose relationship with Tommy turns borderline toxic by the end.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Tommy. He has absolutely no friends other than Greg. Then you find out why.
  • Paranoia Fuel:
    • Eating in the living room set, Tommy prepares his own lunch because he's paranoid of people spitting in it and would not use plastic utensils for fear that they are poisoned.
    • Also the fact that he was filming everything everyone said on the set, saying it was just for a behind the scenes feature.
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    • Also the fact that he recorded his phone conversations.
    • He was very upset with Greg for ad-libbing a line that included the street his San Francisco condo was on, despite Greg assuring him there was no way anyone could make the connection.
    • Tommy in general seems terrified of anyone knowing absolutely anything about his personal life, especially how he earns his money. Greg describes him as acting like he was famous before he was even famous.
  • Squick: According to Greg, Tommy Wiseau is fascinated by models and would like to become one, even having dreams of designing his own line of underwear. He actually did it.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: Aside from the obvious example in Tommy Wiseau, Dan (who, in Greg's words, was never one to half-ass anything) read up on Uta Hagen and Stanislavsky (the latter one of the codifiers of Method Acting) to prepare for his role as Chris-R. Carolyn Minnott also took her role seriously, as she had wanted to act for a long time and this was one of the only parts she could get.
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  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Sorry Tommy, but a tragic backstory doesn't mean you get to abuse the cast and crew of your movie and be a toxic friend to Greg. Arguably, the book's depiction of him Crosses the Line Twice and makes the reader empathize with how much of His Own Worst Enemy he is, desperate for friends but so mentally imbalanced and impossible to deal with that nobody would give him the chance (if anything, it's the only thing relatable about him). Even Greg doesn't know why he stays Tommy's friend despite the hell he puts him through.
  • What an Idiot!: As the book shows, Tommy Wiseau defies common sense. Listing all of his boneheaded decisions would require typing out the entire book, so here are a few highlights of his actions:
    • He made the decision to purchase, instead of rent, both an HD camera and a 35mm film camera. This is something that even multi-billion dollar studios never do, as filmmaking technology is always evolving and what is considered cutting edge now will be obsolete in a year.
    • Using an HD camera and a film camera simultaneously. Both cameras required entire crews to operate and their own lighting patterns. As such, none of the HD camera footage was ever used in the final cut.
    • Kyle Vogt (Peter) was only able to commit a limited amount of time to The Room, as he was working on another project. The best thing to do when an actor can only be involved for so long would be to film all his scenes as quickly as possible. However, despite repeatedly reminding Wiseau that he had other work, by Vogt's last day, they had not filmed his scenes at the party. Rather than completing as much as they could of Peter being at the party, Wiseau insisted on the now-infamous "football in tuxes" scene. It makes Peter's last line "That's it, I'm done." even funnier.
    • On a less funny note, Tommy's refusal to give the crew water or breaks on set. With so much potentially dangerous equipment around, it's important to make sure your cast and crew don't pass out from dehydration or exhaustion.
    • At the end of the book, Tommy hoped to see his film on network TV soon afterwards, having Greg dub his dialogue… even though a bigger roadblock would be the film's gratuitous sex scenes rather than Mark saying "bitch." Indeed, when aired on [adult swim], the screen is often obscured entirely by a black box.
  • The Woobie: Juliette Danielle, the actress who played Lisa. Between the script, the costumes, the make-up, the lighting, and Wiseau's on-set attitude, she was set up to fall short of "temptingly beautiful." Tommy actually made her cry when he tactlessly pointed out that she had pimples and everyone heard it. Reading about how the sex scenes were filmed just makes you want to hug her. Anyone who has had a naked Tommy Wiseau on top of them deserves nothing but sympathy.

The Movie

  • Alternate Aesop Interpretation: Decide for yourself: is this film a blistering satire of the Hollywood Hype Machine that mocks people like Tommy for chasing their empty dreams of stardom, or is it a sincere love letter to Hollywood that shows how even the most untalented people can rise to the top with enough passion and determination? Yes.
  • Award Snub: James Franco was considered all but a lock for a Best Actor Oscar Nomination, along with other awards shows. Then allegations of sexual misconduct on his part came out and he was not included among the five nominees and several awards shows failed to give him nominations or wins as a result of his actions. He did win a Golden Globe for his performance however.
  • Awesome Music: The movie has an excellent collection of classic pop songs used as cues for key scenes, such as "Rhythm Of The Night" by Corona for when Tommy is happily dancing at the bar and Faith No More's "Epic" during the slo-mo shot of Greg and Tommy showing up on-set for the first day.
  • Cliché Storm: Some of the things that were changed from the book and invented for the movie are pretty cliche. For example, in the movie, Tommy is inspired to do The Room after an agent not only turns him down but literally says "you'll never work in this town". So is Greg Sestero going from a struggling actor whose been in a couple of things to a struggling actor who has never booked a job in his life.
  • Comedy Ghetto: Completely averted. The film received award buzz after its premiere.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Tommy gets really defensive after being told he should stick to playing villains and monsters. Shortly after The Disaster Artist came out, the real Tommy Wiseau made an audition tape of himself playing the Joker and having the time of his life doing so.
    • Sandy points out during the "Hi Doggy" scene that there's no way anyone could mistake Tommy for somebody else. Post-credits, We see him encounter the real Tommy Wiseau.
    • Tommy and Greg fall out when Tommy refuses to let Greg shave his beard for another role. Not long after the film's release, Henry Cavill experienced a similar predicament when reshoots for Justice League (2017) clashed with his work on Mission: Impossible – Fallout note .
  • Ho Yay: Moreso than the book. It's so blatant that one would think it's intentional Homoerotic Subtext, except that James Franco is on record for thinking their relationship is "brotherly." See the page for more.
  • Meta Casting: Bryan Cranston was explicitly cast in a cameo As Himself in order to play with the idea of the movie also being a Period Piece. Due to Pop-Cultural Osmosis, Cranston is most known for his leading role as Villain Protagonist Walter White in Breaking Bad. When this movie was taking place, Bryan Cranston was best known in the public as the father, Hal, in sitcom Malcolm in the Middle.
  • Overshadowed by Controversy: Going with Award Snub, the conversation around the film has mostly been tied around James Franco's sexual abuse accusations, as they went public the night of the Golden Globes. As a result, James Franco's role went largely overlooked outside of the Golden Globes, as people became uncomfortable with giving him awards in light of the accusations.
  • Narm Charm: James Franco's entire performance as Tommy Wiseau is completely ridiculous, although that's the point given that that's just what Tommy seems to be like — and said performance ends up being surprisingly moving in places, in spite of the ridiculous accent.
  • Special Effects Failure: The fake beard that Dave Franco wears for much of the film is not convincing in the slightest. For starters, it doesn't cover the underside of his chin or neck.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Quite a few people have criticized the movie for glossing over some of Tommy's worse moments and making him come off as more sympathetic, when the book goes out of its way to describe how big of a jerkass he was.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: The cast of The Room are given little screen time.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The real-life story of Greg's Rage Breaking Point, where he imagined that he was screaming "Why are you doing this to me?" at Tommy when he had to read the line "Leave your stupid comments in your pocket!", is arguably a more effective and interesting story than the scuffle he and Tommy have in the park which was invented for the movie adaptation.
  • Uncanny Valley: This teaser poster for the film, which looks eerily identical to ''The Room's'' poster, right down to the film's title.
  • Why Would Anyone Take Him Back?: The demands of a Compressed Adaptation meant that many scenes from the book of Greg's friendship with and affection for Tommy had to be cut out, leading for some to question why, after all of the trials on set and Tommy ruining a chance for him to get a role on a popular show (which is not what happened in Real Life), Greg would not only go back to being friends with Tommy but also give him a pep talk at the premiere.
  • Win the Crowd:
    • There was some initial negative feedback to James Franco playing Tommy Wiseau, but once set photos got out showing him in full costume people were much more open to it.
    • Some people were skeptical over Franco not emulating Wiseau's accent well in the teaser trailer. The official trailer shows him not only doing a damn good impression of his accent, but even getting his mannerisms dead-on. The film's release was met with universal praise for Franco completely sinking into the role.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: In the film version, Greg Sestero is played by James Franco's brother Dave Franco, while James plays Tommy Wiseau. It was pointed out in the book that Tommy and Greg have no family resemblance whatsoever. There's also the homoerotic undertones to their friendship, which of course could be treated as Incestuous Casting in this case (James himself viewed the relationship as brotherly and urged Dave to take the role because of it). Some of these complaints subsided when Franco's physical transformation into Wiseau was revealed (resulting in him spending hours in the makeup chair to get all the prosthetics) leading to him hardly resembling his brother.