Say ‘Oh Hai Mark!’ to the First Trailer for ‘The Disaster Artist’
“James Franco doing a movie about the creation of legendary disasterpiece The Room” was a tantalizing prospect when first announced, either a brilliant turn for his career-spanning preoccupation with artifice in showbiz or another insufferable bout of navel-gazing. The first trailer for the comedy due December 1 (before going wide on December 8) isn’t really either, landing somewhere closer to Hail, Caesar! in its farcical send-up of filmmaking frustration. 2017 has gotten its “Would that it t’were so simple,” now say it with me: “I did not hit her, it’s not true, it’s bullsh*t, I did not hit her, I did not. Oh hi, Mark.”
The first teaser takes the Devil Wears Prada route of simply submitting one scene as its trailer in lieu of a more traditional montage of footage. We‘re introduced to Franco as writer-director-financier-star Tommy Wiseau, though he appears to have shied away from mimicking the man’s distinctive Eastern European accent. As he burns through almost 70 takes in pursuit of one jumbled line, we watch the crew around him — including script supervisor Seth Rogen and Dave Franco as Wiseau’s costar Greg Sestero — lose their patience. By the time he finally gets the line right, it doesn’t matter that he’s the worst actor anyone on set has ever seen. At least they got it.
Amusing as it may be, the teaser doesn’t give a circumspect impression of the film by any means. There are lots of confirmed actors that don’t appear in the clip (everyone from Kate Upton to Hannibal Buress is in this thing) and Franco’s attitude toward his subject seemingly wavers between mockery and affection. But a trailer’s job is to get viewers interested in the movie it’s advertising, so in that respect, mission accomplished. In other words, “You’re my favorite customer!”