Tag Archives: James Franco

Coupling

Chemistry.  Some couples got it.  Some don’t.

We were all reminded of this fact during Sunday’s Oscar broadcast — for three plus painful hours.   Co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco were oil and water on stage; no casting director is going to be beating down their doors any time soon to pair them up in a movie.

But what about the truly great film couples?

I pondered this very important question as I vegged out in front of the TV last night, re-watching City of Angels. (I was tired, okay?  Plus, that movie was made back in the days when Nicolas Cage was a good actor.)

Here’s my list of great film couples (in no particular order):

  • Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling, The Notebook
  • Vivenne Leigh and Clark Gable, Gone with the Wind
  • Matthew MacFadyen and Keira Knightley, Pride & Prejudice
  • Colin Firth, Renee Zellweger (and Hugh Grant), Bridget Jones’ Diary
  • Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, Casablanca
  • Patrick Swazye and Jennifer Grey, Dirty Dancing
  • Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, Brokeback Mountain
  • Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand, The Way We Were
  • Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, When Harry Met Sally
  • Ryan O’Neal and Ali McGraw, Love Story

It’s not an exhaustive list.  In fact, I’m sure I’ve missed one of your favorites.

What couple would you add to the list?

Remember — you can’t win if you don’t play.


Fair warning

Weeks before the 2011 Academy Awards hit the air, the producers warned everyone in pre-show interviews that their young hosts weren’t comedians, so we shouldn’t expect jokes.

Anne and James weren’t bringing the funny.

And they were right.  They didn’t.

Anne did bring an overly energetic brightness to the stage that became grating.  Her big number went well, but I’m sure Hugh Jackman is even happier today that he dodged that bullet.

James, on the other hand, was quiet and appeared stoned.  He even had trouble reading the teleprompter.  (Hey, it’s a skill not all people can master.)  I think he regretted taking job #1,714 as soon as he stepped on stage, and his partnership with perky Anne even more so.

Oil and water, those two.

It made me even more grateful for the moments to come in the Oscar acceptance speeches.

Moments of wonderful self-deprecation from Best Actor winner Colin Firth:
“I have a feeling my career’s just peaked.”

…and NYU student Luke Matheny, upon winning the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film God of Love:
“Oh, I should have got a haircut!”

Entertaining shout-outs to family members, including Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin for The Social Network:

“Roxy Sorkin, your father just won the Academy Award, I’m going to insist on some respect from your guinea pig.”

…and Tom Hooper, giving credit to his mother for finding The King’s Speech during his Best Director Oscar acceptance:

“The moral of the story is, listen to your mother.”

And perhaps most inspiring of all — especially for Sticky Eggs like me — were David Seidler’s words upon receiving his Best Screenplay Oscar for “Speech.”

“My father always said to me I would be a late bloomer.  I believe I am the oldest person to win this particular award.  I hope that record is broken quickly and often.”

Now, that’s what we needed to hear.

Rocked

I saw a movie yesterday in the theater and didn’t have snacks.

Blasphemy, I know.

But 127 Hours didn’t seem like a nachos kinda film.  So much has been written about the gross-out factor of Danny Boyle’s latest effort.  It may have been nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, but much of the media attention has focused on the audience reaction.

People passing out in their seats.  Vomiting in the aisles.  Staggering out of the cineplex, mentally scarred for life.

Popcorn didn’t seem prudent.

Nevertheless, I bravely walked into the theater, a super-sized Diet Coke my only comfort, and watched the film.  When it was over, I wished I could take off a few arms myself — of the folks who wrote those misleading, alarmist statements!

The bloodshed in 127 Hours is no worse than what you’ve seen in any number of Hollywood action films, and it lasts about 90 seconds.  Tarentino fans no doubt will find it lame.  It was harder for me to watch James Franco’s face as he made the agonizing decision to cut off his own arm as his only means of survival.

Sure, it’s a bit gutty, but you can always turn away if need be.  But that one scene does not set the tone for the entire film.

127 Hours is spiritual and inspiring — the soul searching exploration of a man wrestling between the acceptance of a certain death and his will to survive.

I almost didn’t see 127 Hours because I thought it would make me sick.  If someone else misses it for the same reason, I would feel even worse.

Tongue lashing

Did you watch “Saturday Night Live’s” salute to Adam Lambert this weekend?

Host James Franco ended his monologue by saying this was going to be “the best Christmas show ever.”   And apparently the show’s writers decided adopting some of Lambert’s moves would ensure — if nothing else — it was one of the most talked about.

They began with a sketch premise I first saw used with guest host Paul Rudd — the extremely affectionate family.  In this version, Franco brings home his girlfriend for the holidays, and she gets to watch him mouth kiss his mom, dad, brother, grandfather, and UPS man over and over and over again.  The sketch really hit a high note when Franco slipped his grandpa some tongue.

It’s a funny bit.  But it was interesting to watch in the post-Adam Lambert debacle era.  So, Adam, here’s what we have learned:  It’s okay to kiss a boy on television if a) it’s late night and b) the two guys doing it are straight.

A bit later in the show, SNL brought back another freaky segment: Vincent Price’s Christmas Special.  It had a great lineup of celebrity impressions — Kristen Wiig’s spot-on Kate Hepburn; Franco’s tortured James Dean; and Fred Armisen’s Liberace.  And, Adam, did you see? — Liberace went down on James Dean at the piano bench!  People laughed and laughed — no outrage in the media — I’ve checked.

So, Adam — here is my message to you:  you need to be a guest host on “Saturday Night Live.”  All the stuff you did on the American Music Awards that got you in so much trouble will be considered awesome humor in late night.

The big question is — are the writers and cast members brave enough to go there with you?