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Review: The bizarro band is back together in 'Best F(r)iends'

Posted Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 3:34 PM Central

by John Couture

The Room is by all reasonable accounts a terrible movie. And yet, it had reached a level of glory that few films ever reach, cult classic status. The type of film that plays non-stop at midnight showings at arthouse theaters across the country ad nauseum. It is the very definition of being so bad that it's actually fun to bask in its terribleness.

When they make a critically-lauded film about the dysfunction involved in making The Room, you know that you've officially landed on the cult classic list. That film, The Disaster Artist, shed new light on the enigma wrapped in a riddle that is Tommy Wiseau and most likely created a whole new breed of Tommy fans.

Not one to shy away from an opportunity to exploit this resurgence in popularity, Tommy and his main film cohort Greg Sestero readied a new project to satiate this newfound demand. Best F(r)iends is the result and its most redeeming quality is that it furthers the bizarre adventures of Tommy and Greg, ensuring that they will live on in cult celebrity forever.

Nothing I could say about the film will deter anyone from watching it and if you enjoyed The Room, then you'll appreciate it much like a new record from your favorite band that is way past their prime and should have broken up a decade ago. While they certainly don't make poetic music, Tommy and Greg certainly dance to the beat of their own drums and fans will happily join them.

Tommy plays a mortician (honesty, this is the best part of the two films, he's perfectly cast) while Greg is a drifter and the pair become unlikely friends and business associates. Naturally, greed and paranoia creep into their friendship and things spiral out of control. And since it's these guys, there's no real logic to the descent, but it's mildly entertaining to see just how bonkers they are willing to take things. Spoiler alert, it's pretty bonkers.

I have to give the boys some credit. They showed a wee bit of restraint this time around which is a hundred times more than they had for The Room. While the story is as convoluted and messy as their earlier work, you can tell that Greg had a vision in writing the screenplay and, for the most part, that vision holds up in the final product.

The only problem is that the vision isn't all that unique and there are certainly better ways to spend your time. I'm still trying to figure out why the film had to be split up into two parts. With tighter editing, they could have produced a concise film that probably wouldn't have as many bizarre tangents.

Of course, bizarre tangents are what you expect from Tommy and Greg, so perhaps they know what they are doing. Much like The Room, the enjoyment is derived from the utter depravity of the film itself. The "problem" with Best F(r)iends is that the production value is so much better than their earlier work that it's hard to laugh about the unintentional gaffes.

After the success of Swingers, audiences were clamoring to get more of Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn together. The result was the abysmal Made and one could argue that it was so bad that it tarnished the enjoyment of Swingers. I don't think anything could put a dent in The Room's pop culture standing, but Best F(r)iends comes close.

And yet, I still found myself chuckling each time that Tommy was onscreen or opened his mouth. There's just something so utterly fascinating and bizarre about him that you can help but laugh along. Best F(r)iends: Volumes One & Two is now available on Blu-ray.