AUTHOR :: Greg Sestero
GENRE :: Nonfiction
“The Room is a drama that is also a comedy that is also an existential cry for help that is finally a testament to human endurance.”
-Greg Sestero, The Disaster Artist
I was beyond ecstatic to read The Disaster Artist since i’m a HUGE fan of The Room.
While most people can only see nothing but a cinematic disaster, I see hilarity, movie quotes that I use for every day life, and scenes so confusing that i rewatch again and again for amusement purposes.
In this book, Greg Sestero (Oh, Hai, Mark) not only shares his experiences from his time on set of The Room, but of his long-term friendship with Tommy Wiseau, the director, executive producer, writer, and producer of the worst movie in the history of bad movies.
Greg first takes the reader back in time to his acting lessons in San Francisco to where he first meets Tommy. As they become more familiar with one another, their relationship starts to meet more challenges… most of it due to Tommy’s difficult personality.
From here on, the book goes back and forth between Greg and Tommy’s relationship and times on set of The Room. Each chapter starts with quotes from Sunset Boulevard and The Talented Ripley, movies that perfectly describe the bizarreness and dysfunctional relationship between the author and Tommy.
From one point I couldn’t help but feel sad for Tommy. Considering how often he’s desperate for affirmation, friendship, and loyalty, it’s understanding why he loses his mind when he feels threatened. On the other hand, it becomes difficult to sympathize with Tommy when he tries to buy his way around, manipulate, control, and bully people around him.
I’d often wondered who was the wise crack behind every line uttered and every scene conceived in The Room… this book explains Tommy’s influence over the making of the movie and his stubborn refusal to heed advise from the professionals who worked with him throughout the making of his movie.
Although the experiences described by Greg are definitely jaw-dropping and frustrating, he describes these with such brilliant humor that I couldn’t stop laughing. It’s not hard to tell that the emotional roller coaster Greg experienced on and off set of The Room have pretty much left him scarred for life, but it’s good to see him making the most of even the worse moments.
I’d figured Tommy Wiseau was no saint even before reading this book, but the book offers a closer look at the mad man whose movie has been dubbed the Citizen Kane of bad movies. Greg might just have been the only sane person to put up with a lot of Tommy’s complicated persona.
I’d had loved it if Greg had, however, documented the reaction of the people who saw The Room at it’s premiere. And I would have loved to have read a little more about the thoughts and experiences of the other cast and crew members like Juliette Danielle or Philip Haldiman (Oh, Hi, Denny).
The one other thing that I found other than this book that affirms the craziness that transpired during the making of The Room was the interview with Danielle. I haven’t found any other interviews with any of the other cast members, however.
I also had the opportunity to go and watch the movie The Disaster Artist (based off the book. Review for movie soon to be posted) on my anniversary weekend with my husband.
The question that follows is ‘which did I prefer– the movie or the book?’
I’d definitely would have to say the book even though the movie was pretty amusing if not the best movie I’d seen in 2017.
I highly recommend this fine piece of literature. You’ll laugh, you’ll love and hate Tommy, and you might find yourself feeling inspired too.
Thanks for reading!