The filmmaking duo of Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero make their triumphant return in Best F(r)iends
How does one critique a movie involving Tommy Wiseau? It almost seems paradoxical, as the definition of the word ‘quality’ is immediately blurred when his name graces the opening credits. However, Wiseau’s new film Best F(r)iends allows for the cult star of 2003’s The Room to flex his acting prowess as he is not bogged down with the duties of writer, producer, and director —roles he played in his film debut all those years ago. Instead his creative partner Greg Sestero takes up the mantle as co-star, writer, and producer and delivers something that doesn’t usually correlate with the name Wiseau —a watchable film.
The story of Best F(r)iends may appear simple in its initial approach, yet that doesn’t stop it from descending into a form of lunacy that we’re all too familiar with when it comes to this filmmaking duo. The difference here is that the lunacy is on purpose, and not just a happy accident.
The story follows a drifter named Jon (Sestero) after he has a chance encounter with a mortician named Harvey (Wiseau). Jon begins to work in Harvey’s morgue after Harvey offers him a position. What follows is a collage of grandiose establishing shots of Los Angeles, a surprising amount of character development, and a story of betrayal, as it is revealed that both Jon and Harvey aren’t all what they seem.
What this film shares with its predecessor The Room is the ‘Wiseau Factor.’ Dear Tommy’s screen presence hasn’t changed one bit in the last decade, and one can argue that’s a good thing.
I mean would you really go see a movie with Tommy Wiseau if he didn’t bring his unique chaotic charm? What makes the tone of the film difficult to place is that Wiseau’s delivery clashes with the film’s almost professional approach to the filmmaking medium.
The cinematography is half-way decent, the performances that aren’t Wiseau’s are enjoyable in the traditional sense, and the film moves at a steady clip, with no issues in continuity or plot. What Best F(r)iends comes across as is Sestero’s attempt to make a movie on his terms, with Wiseau taking the back seat. It almost mirrors The Room in every way, just with the roles reversed. Iit does keep some of the train wreck charm of The Room, but seems more like an evolution, moving away from the legacy that these two public figures have held for over a decade.
Best F(r)iends needs to be experienced first hand, and there is no doubt there will be several interpretations of this film. Will it hold the same cult status as its predecessor? That has yet to be decided, but what Sestero has done with the help of director Justin MacGregor is evolve the brand that these two actors have maintained on the laurels of a single film.
If there’s any concern about whether or not we’ll see more from the Wiseau/Sestero duo anytime soon, don’t fret, the film leaves us on quite the cliffhanger. Yet, when it comes to formally ranking this movie in a traditional sense it is incredibly difficult … one could say it’s, “tearing me apart.”
Fri., Mar. 30 – Tue., Apr. 3
$8 – $13