If you haven’t watched The Room yet, I urge you to do so now that it’s back in the ever fleeting spotlight of the media. It’s not just a film, it’s an experience. Because underneath the hilarity and all the obvious overdone jokes, The Room is an actual dream come true.
I had to check out this audiobook when I was told it was read by Greg Sestero, and that all the quotes by Tommy Wiseau were read in his accent, I thought that would be hilarious, and for the first couple of hours or so, it was.
The Disaster Artist tells the real life story of a young American aspiring actor and his unusual, bizarre journey with the enigma that is Tommy Wiseau. It’s about how they met, how they became friends, and how they ended up making the cult classic The Room. What I expected from the book was vastly different from what was delivered. I knew nothing of Wiseau beyond The Room, and The Disaster Artist goes deeper into the psychology of him as a person, a broken person with a dark past, living with the spirit of a child, unhealthily infatuated with the American Dream, and in complete denial of his reality.
The thing is, I’m not quite sure what Sestero was thinking when he wrote the book. Other than the obvious, of course, take advantage of The Room’s success and people’s curiosity in order to sell, I’m not sure which direction he was going with the book. While every other page or so he would say something sentimental about Wiseau to show his human side, the majority or the book he was trying to paint him in a dark light and make him out as a sadistic, manipulative person. However, about maybe halfway through the book, you realise the only manipulative person in the story was Sestero himself. Wiseau clearly has a problem, if not many problems, but Sestero had no excuse. He exploited a lonely man who only wanted a friend, stayed friends with him because he needed a place to live in LA, and he starred in his film because he needed the money. And worst of all, he wrote this bloody thing because starring in The Room ruined his acting career.
I’m glad, however, that he wrote this book. I sure am glad that his writing is not as stiff and lifeless as his acting. The book shows a side of Tommy Wiseau that everyone who had seen The Room needs to see. Surely it’s easy to make jokes about a person when you forget that they’re human with hopes and dreams and pain and delusions. But in the end, Tommy got what he wanted. He will never be forgotten.