Best F(r)iends (2017)

Best F(r)iends on paper, does not sound like a good movie or idea. Because it really isn’t. In Tommy Wiseau (who plays Harvey in the film) and Greg Sestero’s (who plays Jon in the film) new film together, a mortician and a homeless man become business partners and their friendship is put to the test. Best F(r)iends is is objectively terrible in every technical standpoint but yet, I didn’t feel myself hating it just because of how much I enjoyed Tommy Wiseau’s on-screen prescence. Even comperable to Wiseau’s performance as the loveable Johnny in The Room (2003).

I think that the actual direction in this movie reeks of the quality of a film student. The amateur lighting, the reliance on stock footage, and the cinematography in some scenes looked like it was shot on the iPhone 7 Plus Steven Soderbergh used to film Unsane (2018). In one shot, the boom microphone was in the frame. Frequent frame rate drops appear throughout the movie which is a first in any live-action film I think I have ever watched. Overall though, it makes for an enjoyable experience just because of the performances from Tommy was so and Greg Sestero as well as the supporting cast and a very outlandish plot that involves the sale of gold through fake teeth, Wiseau licking his new car, and a family of clowns; and this is only the first part. Perhaps director Justin MacGregor is taking inspiration from Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac? (the last movie that I can recall that was released in two parts in quite the same fashion as Best F(r)iends is). By the end of the movie, I was asking for much more of the on-screen pairing of Wiseau and Sestero and I cannot wait until the June 1st release of the second volume.

When I watched the film with a large audience of people at my theater, mostly everyone erupted with laughter and made for a fun viewing environment. Everyone was in on the joke and it was probably the best experience I’ve had watching a movie at the theater since going to see Get Out (2017) on opening weekend. It is the adequate way of watching Best F(r)iends. Just remember when going into this film that doesn’t expect it to be to be like a David Lynch film. However, if you expected it to be like a David Lynch film then you wouldn’t be going to see it. I doubt anybody is actually seeing this movie interested in the plot but, more interested in Tommy Wiseau himself. Becasue, if this film had anyone else starring in it besides Sestero and Wiseau it would be unwatchable garbage.

Note: There was also some pretty lengthy behind-the-scenes footage with a focus on Red Bull for some reason? Then there was a music video starring Wiseau too.

The Disaster Artist (2017)

★★

The tall man with vampire-like structure walks out of fake door and onto the rooftop set. “Oh hai mark” he says in a monotone voice, throwing the empty water bottle on the floor. After the camera cuts, the set erupts with applause. After dozens of takes, Tommy Wiseau (James Franco) had done it. He had finally managed to recite his lines correctly. The Disaster Artist however, is not just about the making of the now infamous film The Room (2003) but much more. It is also a film about the friendship of two actors, Greg Sestero (Dave Franco) and Tommy Wiseau and their desire to make it big. Showing how the two characters meet in San Francisco and what led them to make The Room.

The story is not the main attraction however, James Franco is. I would actually find it to be near impossible for The Disaster Artist to be good if James Franco was not Tommy Wiseau. The amount of care that Franco put into studying the real Tommy Wiseau is really shown in this movie. From the way he talks and the way his mannerisms are. I felt like it not only played off the character of Wiseau as comedic but also dramatic character trying to be understood by someone in the world.

As far as the directing and writing goes, it is nothing special. Sure there are some jokes that land, but I felt like there were many times where they would point out the obvious ridiculousness of Wiseau’s antics, such as the strange lines of dialogue in The Room which became redundant after a while. Overall, it was a passable job from James Franco’s directing.

Chances are, if you enjoyed The Room then you will like The Disaster Artist, the scenes from the original movie are recreated quite well (at the end they even show them side to side) and it was funny to see actors like Zac Efron and Josh Hutcherson play characters in the film. The ending was a little hokey as it makes the film end a little too comedically compared to what should have been a more serious tone. But the motif of friendship between Wiseau and Sestero throughout the movie is what gives the human connection to the film making it a relatable parable somewhat.