Friday, July 6, 2018

Enough The Room already

In checking the listings for new movies that came out yesterday at Cinema Nova, for a possible Sunday night viewing, I noticed that the new Tommy Wiseau-Greg Sestero movie is now out.

I could see that movie and review it. But I’m not gonna.

It’s a bridge too far on our whole recent love affair with The Room.

Thanks to The Disaster Artist, in the past year, Tommy Wiseau has become if not a household name, then at least a name known in a lot more households than he was a year before that. He’s milked every little bit he could out of that spotlight, and I’m generally happy for him to do that. He made a terrible movie that made him famous in cult circles, and James Franco made a good movie about the making of that terrible movie that has made him considerably more famous. Good for him.

Okay, now it’s time to ease off a bit.

In that year Wiseau has become an inescapable personality on Twitter and delighted in the limited run re-release of The Room, which allowed people who hadn’t seen it (and weren’t willing to stay up for the midnight screenings) to see it on the big screen. He has made a multitude of personal appearances in which he has done his best to peddle his distinct brand of weirdness, whether it’s legitimate at this point or just playing a role.

But it seemed like it should be 15 minutes of fame and that’s it. Time to go back into semi-obscurity, Tommy.

That’s why the release of Best F(r)iends annoys me. It assumes an appetite for a lot more Tommy Wiseau. An appetite, I would think, that’s just not there.

Cinema Nova is a theater that plays The Room once a month at midnight on a Friday or Saturday night, so it’s perhaps not surprising to see it open there. I’m noticing as I look it up in IMDB that Best F(r)iends has not, in fact, gotten this type of proper release in the U.S. So maybe that’s kind of the course correction I’m looking for here.

In fact, until I just looked it up now I thought this movie was a documentary about them, which would have made it a lot more self-serving. In actuality, it’s described as a black comedy. It was even separated into two volumes when given a limited showcase in a couple locations in the U.S., which would tend to worsen the issue of our overexposure to Wiseau by artificially distending the experience of watching the movie. At least they seem to have gathered them together into one for the Australian theatrical run.

I suppose another thing that annoys me about it is that the title is kind of stolen from the Werner Herzog documentary My Best Fiend, about his toxic relationship with Klaus Kinski. That’s also why I thought it was a documentary, positing the same type of tumultuous relationship Herzog and Kinski had for Wiseau and Sestero. Thereby likening those two to two genuine cinematic greats. And thereby annoying me more.

Learning now that it is a fiction film rather than a documentary, I am slightly more interested in seeing Best F(r)iends than I would have had I perceived it as a vainglorious attempt to celebrate their mediocre celebrity. But still, I don’t really want to contribute to Wiseau’s impression of the world as needing to be all Tommy, all the time.

I don’t wish him ill, but I don’t wish him to be ubiquitous either.

No comments: