DATELINE: More Francophobia
James Franco stars here. As we know, Franco alternates between serious, literary movies, and mindless, nuthouse comedies. This falls into the latter.
Here he plays an exasperating, offensive, foul-mouthed extreme version of his most irritating persona. Opposite him is Bryan Cranston playing a curdmudgeon father of a beautiful Stanford co-ed who is cohabitating with this lout.
He wants to marry her, though she is so conservative we can never figure out why they are together to begin with. Franco is so appalling that we wonder why anyone wants to be in the same movie.
Of course, the fly in the ointment is that Franco’s Laird Mayhew is a video-games entrepreneur billionaire who cavorts with the likes of Elon Musk. Yes, he appears.
In a twisted way, Cranston’s befuddled father is perfect and the air-headed script flies by with tasteless scene following even more tasteless scene. We have been watching too many high quality, artistic movies, and have been brought down to earth in a crash with this picture.
Franco must win over Cranston to win over Zoey Deutch. Megan Mullaly, Cedric the Entertainer, and Griffin Gluck are around for the ride. Keegan-Michael Key steals the picture largely as the overgrown “houseboy” (via the Inspector Clouseau movies, proudly plagiarizing Pink Panther).
In its own way, this is a perverse Xmas movie, complete with references to Macauley Culkin being home alone to make the entire concept completely incongruous.
You may laugh as the Millennials truly make the Baby Boomers take one on the chin.
In case you wonder, the hideous art hanging in Laird’s house all were done by James Franco, who else?
Stuffed shirts always loosen up in face of a James Franco onslaught. The film defies you not to laugh.