Warning: *Very Mild Spoilers*
I have this thing with movies where I HATE knowing anything about them before I go into the theater. I avoid trailers, reviews, tweets, Reddit threads, etc. If a friend messages me about a movie, I always ask them not to say anything about it. I don’t even want to know if it’s good or bad.
This is why attending TIFF (Toronto Film Festival) was so much fun. There are so many premieres and you’re one of the first to see a movie.
This usually works great. I saw 25 movies this year at TIFF, and this worked for 24 of them.
But then, there was Disaster Artist.
I knew people thought it was one of the best movies of the year, so I got a ticket. I then heard that it was about the creation of the movie ‘The Room’. That’s all I know before the Monday premiere. I didn’t get a chance to watch The Room beforehand, so when I was in line, I decided to quickly read the plot. I Google ‘The Room’, and click the Wikipedia link. 2015 movie. Critically acclaimed. Oscar noms. I read the plot, and basically took away that it’s a movie about an abduction.
I get to the theater and the line is way longer than normal. I grab a seat on the balcony of the theater and am as excited as everyone else. There’s blowup balls being tossed around. James Franco announces the film. The crowds clapping through the ads. The movie starts and the audience starts laughing immediately at a bunch of little things that James Franco’s character does. I don’t get any of it. Remember, I read about the 2015 The Room, so I don’t get how everyone knows Tommy. In The Room I read about, the director didn’t play himself.
The movie progresses and they eventually start filming, and first I’m confused about why they started filming in 2003 if the movie didn’t come out until 2015.
“Did it really take 12 years to make?”
“Why does Greg hate the script if this movie did so well with reviewers? Why does everyone hate the script?”
“How does it go from this shitshow into an Oscar nominated movie? “
The movie they’re filming is about a romance. But the Wikipedia page I read is about an abduction, so my mind starts to run:
“When’s the fucking abduction?”
“Oh, I guess they end up scrapping this story and switch to another one.”
“Wait, why are they finished almost all the scenes and it’s still on this story that’s not an abduction?”
“Jesus Christ, how long is this movie if they haven’t even started making the abduction story yet?”
I was confused as hell.
I’m not sure at what point of the movie I accepted that there wasn’t going to be an abduction. I realized I Googled a very different movie. It was probably not until before the credits rolled when they showed the scenes side-by-side. When Tommy Wiseau came on stage to do the Q&A, Franco’s character finally clicked.
There were multiple times I thought about leaving. It was probably my worst movie experience ever. When everyone else gets the joke and you’re clearly missing it. I realized that I needed to watch The Room to get it. But I trudged through. I knew that I was ruining this movie for myself. And probably ruining The Room at the same time.
Oh well…there’s a lesson to all of this, so don’t make the same mistake as me…
If a movie is about the creation of another movie, then watch that movie first…and make sure it’s the right one.