Our favorite renaissance man is at it again. Never one to rest on his laurels, actor James Franco is adding “movie critic” to his ever growing resume. And in the latest issue of The Paris Review, he is comparing and contrasting the merits of two films based on books, THE DESCENDANTS and BREAKING DAWN: PART 1. These are, of course, two films we’d never have thought to lump together in one review.
Here are but a few excerpts. However, for the love of all that is holy, please check out his essay in its entirety here:
The movies are in many ways very different. But both use sex as a submerged theme while on the surface promoting a wholesome idea of family values; both seem to devalue motherhood; and both deal with characters who are so financially secure that they are almost impossible to identify with. THE DESCENDANTS is a much better film, but that is because it is not hampered by the precedent of an extremely successful book, a rabid fan base, and a studio that is out for green (so much so that they are willing to split the product into two films, even if it means stretching the material thin to the point of vapidity).
And on BREAKING DAWN:
The protagonists finally marry, having waited until the wise old age of eighteen, and since the book and the film dutifully show them being wed, they are then allowed to f*ck each others’ brains out. For a film that claims to be sexually responsible, the “Twilight” movies are awfully dependent on teenage sex to attract viewers. The actors prance about like pieces of meat, their disturbingly developed bodies on full display; Taylor Lautner’s rippling teenage chest is just a little better than the child beauty-pageant stars at the end of LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE. The fans have divided themselves into teams (Team Jacob and Team Edward) and, considering that they already know the outcome of the love triangle between Bella, Edward, and Jacob, the choice of a team can mean little more than—well, you can imagine.
I have to say, he’s not wrong in his assessments, although he seems rather too focused on Shailene Woodley’s bikini. What do you think? Does Franco possibly have a career in film critiquing?