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Book Review: “The Disaster Artist”

Hello, West Chester Public Library patrons! After half a week without power or Internet access, we’re finally back up and running, ready to provide you with entertaining books, movies, magazines, music, and games…until the next storm hits!

I spent my impromptu break reading a new book that I’d ordered from the main Chester County branch in Exton. It’s called The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made. Chances are, you haven’t heard of this “greatest bad movie ever made.” The Room is a cult film that is often described as this generation’s Plan 9 From Outer Space. In other words, it’s not a good movie, but that’s what makes it so much fun to watch. There’s nothing outrageous about the plot at first glance. It’s meant to be a story about a man who ultimately discovers that his beloved fiancé is cheating on him with his best friend. It’s become infamous due to its lack of continuity. Characters have variations of the same conversation over and over again, they play football in an alley while wearing tuxedos, the dialogue doesn’t make sense, and serious situations, like a woman getting diagnosed with breast cancer, are brought up in one scene and then never mentioned again.

Personally, I’ve never seen The Room, but I have watched some funny reviews and clips of it online. So I was very, very curious about the book describing how it all came together. There are many kinds of movies in the world, but every now and then, we encounter one that is so bad, we can only sit in our seats and think, “Hollywood…who thought this was a good idea?  How did this happen?

The Disaster Artist attempts to answer these questions. It’s co-written by Tom Bissell and Greg Sestero, one of the film’s lead actors. Sestero has a great dry sense of humor about the whole situation. The book’s tone ranges back and forth between hilarious, sad, and disturbing. Every other chapter describes the strange, unbelievable events that took place during the making of The Room.  Other chapters go back to Greg’s life leading up to his involvement in the movie and his relationship with the director, Tommy Wiseau.

In a way, The Disaster Artist is the anti-Saving Mr. Banks.  It’s best appreciated if you’re at least somewhat familiar with The Room, but it’s also fascinating if you enjoy reading books about how a movie comes together.

One Comment

  1. […] wrote a positive review of The Disaster Artist, by Greg Sestero, on the West Chester Public Library’s blog around the […]

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