The Room's Tommy Wiseau Is A Hero Of Glorious Mediocrity

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If I had heroes, Tommy Wiseau would absolutely be one of them. Not because of his Machiavellian manner to financial success in the film industry, not because of his devilish charm or good looks, but because he’s a walking testament to the all-too-forgotten truth that geniuses are not the only ones capable of producing good art, and more importantly, those that make good art are not as a rule geniuses.

The Room is an awful film. To say so is an embarrassing truism at this point, but its reach is something truly remarkable, even in consideration of how these things go. Bad movies that nuzzle into pop culture esteem isn't novel, but Wiseau’s particular journey into ironic stardom is married with this sort of sweet ideal, this inspiring sentiment materialized by a culturally ambiguous, middle-aged Euro-vampire that had a dream to make “real Hollywood movie.”

There were many angles to consider with this kind of narrative when Disaster Artist director, James Franco, decided to attempt to weave a feature film from the dregs of an Indie phenomenon and the slightly acerbic memoir of one of its lead stars. The one the film ultimately settled on elevates what would otherwise be a perfunctory buddy comedy to a genuinely humorous picture buzzing with heart and pathos.

We place the wrong kind of premium on art. We learn the wrong lessons from it and its authors. George Orwell’s work is so special because the man behind it wasn’t. He was just a guy with a knack for a turn of phrase and some relevant stuff to say. This is the sort of virtue Tommy Wiseau teaches despite himself. It’s pretty evident that the filmmaker doesn’t share in my disparaging evaluation of him. Even still, I get giddy at the idea of a foreign no-talent defying the odds by sheer will of passion and determination. It’s astounding to think about all the fruits that came forth from a tenth-rate film released over a decade ago.

To all the aspiring authors, musicians, painters and so-ons out there, you are likely not a genius. In fact, you're probably not even that talented.  Maybe you never will be, but forge on. Finish your projects, whether people get to behold them or not. It’s ok to be just ok.

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