6 Reasons To Feel Ambivalent About James Franco

1) Sometimes he acts real good

Though known to some as the guy from Freaks and Geeks and the TV movie James Dean, for which he gained a great amount of critical attention, James Franco was introduced to mass audiences for the first time in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man in 2002, playing best friend Harry Osborn. He was fine enough in this franchise, and the failure of the third installment was certainly not on his shoulders. In 2008, the year after Spider-Man 3 was released, things took off for Franco acting-wise. He garnered a ton of critical and popular attention for his work in Milk, as well as for his more comedic turn in Pineapple Express. There are of course other examples of excellent work he’s done.

With the exception of Milk, Franco fits the bill for big weirdo exceptionally well. His odd speaking style and general stoner-aesthetic lends itself to this neat fit. He used this persona to great effect in Pineapple Express alongside proud stoner Seth Rogen, but the movie he really brought this weirdness to and used it in really interesting ways (not that a weed dealer is inherently less interesting than a solo canyon diver) was 127 Hours in 2010. We don’t seem him interact with people a whole lot in this movie, but in the brief moments he does, we get a real sense of who this character is, and perhaps why he spends so much time alone, which ultimately results in his solitary ordeal. As mentioned earlier, by all accounts he brings this weird creep vibe to his role in Spring Breakers, which is encouraging, because the last film to feature him in a lead role left a pretty horrid taste in my mouth.

Continue reading on the next page…