Monday, February 7, 2011

Why do I hate James Franco so?

My despiction (that is my own personal neologism) has grown in leaps and bounds since 2009. I now writhe in pain when I see his snarky face, or hear his disingenuous words. Why has it come to this? Why have I come to abhor him so?

Let us take a journey back, way back to 2008...

I, like so many other white people, liked James Franco. He seemed to have talent. He was self deprecating. His television biopic of James Dean, though not great, showed he had talent, and his humble speech at the Golden Globes showed his modesty. "Freaks and Geeks" was a cherished show; its early cancellation is still rued by fans today. His turn as Harry Osborn in the first two "Spiderman" films exposed him to millions of fanboys and placed his face high on the list of crushes of teenage girls (and some boys).

In 2008, his comic turn in "Pineapple Express" endeared him to million of stoners. A dramatic turn in Gus Van Sant's "Milk" demonstrated that Franco was only beginning a rise to stardom. But then it began to go all wrong...

Personally, it went wrong with me when I ran into him at a small, dark Mexican restaurant in the San Fernando Valley the week after the 2008 Oscars--on my birthday. Let me stress this minor point: my birfday!... There I am with my mother eating a tostada salad, and James Franco is seated next to me. I hyperventilate slightly. He was feet away from me. I could reach out and touch him.

Upon leaving the table, rather than sliding out of the booth, I decided to vacate by sliding between my table and that of Franco. Unfortunately, there was not enough room and I pounded into his table, disturbing glasses of water and margaritas.

Franco looked up at me. We made eye contact. I blurted out: "Hi! I think you deserved the Oscar nomination for Milk, not Josh Brolin."

Now we can all agree, that this may not have been the most eloquent thing to say to Mr. Franco. Perhaps, I should have said: "I loved you in 'Milk.' " I did not. My mistake. But Franco did not handle himself remarkably well either.

"Whoa, man, don't knock Josh. He was amazing. He deserved everything he got," he responded in a very Franco kind of way.

"Oh well I think he got nominated this year 'cuz he didn't get nominated for 'No Country' last year." I was beginning to sound slightly anxious. The pitch of my voice moving ever so slightly upward.

"Dude, hold up. He's my colleague. You can't dis him like that." His hands were up in the air, resembling Diana Ross stopping her lover in the name of love.

"I was just trying to compliment you," I replied dejectedly.

"Compliment accepted, man."

I turned to my mother and said, "Ok, let's go." My mother asked who that was, I said James Franco. She asked "who?" Yes, exactly.. .who was that?

Since then, he has managed to work himself under my skin with his ubiquity. A collection of short stories? Attending Yale for a PhD? Teaching a class on himself (himself??? himself???) at Columbia (who the hell accepted that syllabus?)? Hosting the OSCARS???! I could go on and on...

His precious attitude of ennui whenever he is interviewed further aggravates me. Oh, poor, poor Franco, you are so put upon! I am so sorry your life is so difficult.

At the red carpet of the SAG awards. Nameless white girl asking the great cliché: "Who are you wearing?" Franco's response: "Well, I model Gucci, so I HAVE to wear Gucci." Oh, I am so sorry you have no agency! you are merely a tool of the great capitalist game. How will you ever escape? God, having to wear Gucci whenever you leave the house, that sounds downright awful!

When he received his Oscar nomination: "Did you do a little Oscar Dance?" Franco: "No, it was like any other day." Oh yeah, this is the first of many nominations, why get excited? You are the male Meryl Streep.

Oh and on his performance in "127 Hours": Mr Franco believes it is unprecedented in film history. Because in "Castaway" Tom Hanks had the volleyball to talk to. Yes, Mr. Franco you have reinvented cinema.

Then he says in some interview that he "has a high metabolism for productivity and creativity." You know something, I think you have a high metabolism for being a dilettante and a hack!

When he was interviewed by James Lipton for "Inside the Actor's Studio," Franco told a lengthy anecdote about the prosthetic arm he had to saw through for the climactic scene of the movie. "The makeup guy told me I wouldn't be able to saw through it, but, you know what, I did." WOW! where is your Nobel Prize? Can you also solve the crisis in the Middle East when you have a second? Maybe next Thursday between 10 am and 11 am? I think you have a free space in your schedule.

Now go back to studying for your seminars at Yale. I am sure you can get through three novels and several hundred of pages of theory in your sleep. You are just that talented. I am sure there were no students in this world better qualified for that one slot at Yale. I am sure of that. 

Oh Jimmy, I used to like you, but look at what it has come to. Just bitterness. So sad.


  1. Your head may have spun around today during General Hospital. His Franco character now does self-portraits and there were 3 or 4 paintings behind him the whole 3 minutes he was on-screen. Done shirtless no less!

  2. Ok i dont get it...that encounter scarred you i get that....but honestly you were kindof dissing his friend. Its like someone telling you that after you lost that " oh you should have won that award instead of him" and yea you probably will tell that person that "no he deserved it!" Same thing w/ franco. And if you wouldnt have said that then you were probably thinking it.
    Either way I think the problem was how you aproached him and what you asked him. I think you were probably hoping he responded w/ " OH um I know huh, but thanks" But that would have just made him seem arrogant and selfish casue he thought HE should have been nominated insteead of Brolin. ANd if that happened than you would still have a negative opinion of him, becaue you would say that he is an arrogant douche.

    By anyway I get why you dislike him now, I think its a bad Idea to meet celebrities you admired cause if something like that happenes t tehm you end up hating them. A similar encounter happened to me w/ Johnny depp...I hate him now!!!...Why do I hate johnny depp so?!

  3. I thought I'd totally cornered the market on James Franco hating on my blog, but I haven't even had a one-on-one encounter! I just don't see why other people don't get it.

  4. well played, sir. every time franco is deemed a "polymath" i am left ever-the-more convinced that it can't be a good thing.

  5. I too hate franco with a passion. Yeah i read his stories and i thought it was a waste of a paper.

    I hate him the most for being accepted at Yale and at University's of houston writing program (all very selective) and getting in as if he was reinventing writting, oh and for taking 60 hrs of curriculum bc he is Franco and he can do 2 yrs in leas than 1.

    I feel as if he think he's Borges and exudes erudition in writing like him, or Cortazar, or Calvino ....but he's Franco, the guy thay did "howling" the movie and thinks himself a poet.

    Ahhhhhh i cannot stand him.

  6. I could not agree more, James Franco is one of the most pretentious hipsters in the film business. End of story. I'm sure Bukowski is rolling in his grave over the film adaptation of Ham on Rye.

  7. I heard Franco took yoga so he could become flexible enough to give up dating Seth Rogen.

  8. Pretty sure Franco takes romantic getaways by himself.