Have you guys been watching 11.22.63? Because Dustin’s right about two very big elements of that show: 1) the Stephen King hook is big and good enough to overlook a couple of issues I have with the show (namely that the assassination of JFK is the single worst thing that’s happened to the country in the past 50 years. I get it. It’s King’s baby and this is his wheelhouse. But when the magic, time traveling closest is done with JFK, could we also work on AIDS maybe? At least start laying the groundwork?) and 2) James Franco is very bad at his job.
James Franco, and this is purely from an unbiased perspective, is terrible at acting. Like really bad. Not just that you can witness him trying to make his face match whichever emotion he’s supposed to be feeling, but you can actually see him thinking about which emotion he’s supposed to be registering on his face. I do not say this lightly: Josh Duhamel carried their scenes with significantly more adequacy than Franco did.
Sorry, I’ll stop gushing over Duhamel’s performance.
The best I can figure is that the width of Franco’s work is making up for the lack of breadth. Or it might be the fact that in real life, Franco briefly went Renaissance man and enrolled at every college in the country. While admirable, I do need to point out that that does not make one a better actor. There was also that one movie where he had his arm stuck and had to cut it off. But as we’ve already established here, actors should not be rewarded for putting themselves through physical difficulties. Actors for sure shouldn’t be rewarded for pretending to put themselves through physical difficulties unless they do it really, really well aka acting.
It might be that Franco seems attractive and affable enough that people want him to be a movie star. But because he’s slightly off kilter, he can’t be a movie star or a heartthrob. Instead we’ve tried to put him into the Johnny Depp lane of acting — still good looking, but “talented” enough to be special. Unfortunately offbeat charm doesn’t make this good acting.
Or anything that’s going on here.
This somehow is still totally convincing though.