Thursday, January 14, 2021

Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell, The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside the Room, the Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made (Simon & Schuster, 2013)

In my book reviews over lo these many years, I’ve often expanded on the commonly accepted notion that entrepreneurial activity is exclusively economically oriented — that an entrepreneur is someone who builds a successful business starting from scratch, typically as a result of exploiting a new-found market niche or, more prosaically, by building a better mousetrap.

And now, as Monty Python would say, for something completely different.

The blurb for this book describes the subject film, “The Room,” as “the Citizen Kane of bad movies.”  I have to confess that I haven’t seen it.  My curiosity was piqued when James Franco won a Golden Globe in 2017 for his appearance as Tommy Wiseau, the driving force behind “The Room,” in the movie made from this book.

The typical entrepreneurial scenario involves someone with a great idea but not necessarily the financial wherewithal to exploit it, leading to a story filled with successive rounds of venture financing and innumerable compromises along the way. “The Disaster Artist,” by contrast, is the story of a man with a dream and plenty of money, enough that he doesn’t need to refine his vision to satisfy others. The statistics tell the story: the film had a budget of $6 million, and box office receipts of $1,800 (yes, that’s the correct number) in its original release.

The film has gone on to achieve cult status as the best bad movie ever. The book is an entertaining view of what happens to an entrepreneur and his idea when he or she does not need to deal with the reality check that is the marketplace.

No comments :

Post a Comment