I don’t know if you all have seen the trailer for the upcoming movie Spring Breakers, but you should take a minute to go watch it. I think the real draw is supposed to be the Disney Girl gone wild-esque inclusion of Vanessa Hudgens (who knew she was still alive??) and Selena Gomez, but it’s impossible to take your eyes off the mess of cornrows and Florida white trash accent that is James Franco while watching it. (Is he doing a parody of Riff Raff or am I losing my mind?) As with so much of what he does these days, it seems like yet another performance piece — much like his stint on that soap opera — which involves “acting like he’s acting,” because it’s funny/interesting/cool to remove yourself another degree from the sincerity of your work. Or something.
I hate to use this word, as it pretty much no longer has any meaning in modern society, but he just seems like such an enormous hipster. Like, we get it, you’re unique and thoughtful and not some run-of-the-mill hot movie star. You go to college and write poetry and think important thoughts and are not like your average Chris Evans type who fills his time between movie sets with grating cheese on his abs and letting a single drop of saliva dangle from his open mouth while wind blows through his cavernous, empty skull. (Note: This is what I imagine James Franco believes about other hot young movie stars. I would never insult Captain America in such a way, as that would jeopardize my chances of one day getting to eat whipped cream off of his pecs.)
James Franco’s every move seems so calculated and strange, and his choices in both acting and his other artistic/intellectual endeavors have become so insane as to be exhausting. Now, when I hear that James Franco only sleeps for two hours a day because he divides his time evenly between doctorate classes and writing haikus on a rocky Portugese beach, I just let out an enormous sigh and want to curl up in a ball and go to sleep. I don’t want to deal with his intentional weirdness anymore, nor his lackluster persona when it comes time to actually be enthusiastic about things (see: his quaalude-induced stint as an Oscar host).
Essentially, Jimmy is just that douchey 19-year-old who’s taken one intro to philosophy class and now has really important thoughts about life and relationships and art and emotions, and can’t find enough outlets to contain his special snowflake syndrome. He likes to dabble in everything without actually being too invested in anything — because not being separated by at least one shade of irony isn’t cool — and you just want to slap him mid-sentence to get him to stop talking about Proust. He is exactly that guy, except, like, 30 and a millionaire.
Come back, reasonably-normal-James Franco. You were awesome in Pineapple Express and 127 Hours. I believe you could be awesome again.