The Disaster Artist ★★★

It's entertaining, it's funny. I enjoyed it. Does absolutely no justice to the original book, or even the point of the book. The book shows you the inner workings of Tommy Wiseau's madhouse and dealing with the man himself, the way Greg Sestero experienced it- the movie is like the 1990s Disney animated movie version. It's a sanitized, watered-down, cute-ified version of the book. It's the Disney's Pochahontas version of the book. I guess James Franco really felt proud of his Tommy Wiseau impression (it's honestly pretty damn good but nothing beats Greg Sestero's, obviously), and he thought "Hah, hey, I could totally play Tommy Wiseau in a movie. Let's do that."

There's a reason why Tommy approves of the movie more than he approves of the book- because the book is honest, to a degree it makes Tommy angry because it's putting his character faults and terrible behavior on blast. He likes the movie more because it gives people a nice image of him- he's just an out-of-touch, quirky, passionate, sensitive eccentric who was following his dreams. Which is only half true- the other half is that he's a narcissistic, paranoid, manipulative basketcase who cares more about his vanity project than the wellbeing of other people. Reading the book, you bounce between loving him and his bizarre charms (it's hard not to), and getting infuriated by what an egomaniacal insecure asshole he is. Though I'd say the bigger issue is painting Greg Sestero as Tommy's blindly optimistic, trusting "yes-man", when in reality, he was consistently skeptical, wary, and often pushed to his absolute limits by Tommy's tantrums and absurd demands.

Though, I gotta say, despite knowing all this, the movie's still funny. I don't think it's really right to let the knowledge of "the truth" spoil the movie, because it's sincerely a great experience. Nothing groundbreaking, but it leaves you with a distinct happy glow inside, and as long as you acknowledge the truth of the story, I think that's all that matters about the movie in the end. Frankly, I'd consider it just plain common sense to go "good movie, obviously not quite truthful/skewed re-imagining of real-life events".

Not going to nitpick the out-of-place late-2010s fashion on the extras when the film takes place in the early 2000s- but it was the only thing that actually bothered me at all once I laid to rest the whole "The whole movie's a white lie" thing, if that says anything. Genuinely, it's fine. I liked it enough to get the DVD.