A disaster of a film about a disaster of a film that nonetheless made us laugh; a film that tells more than it shows; an in-joke dramatised in James Franco’s fan project about the worst film ever made. We discuss the mean-spirited nature of finding films so bad they’re good, the lack of direction in The Disaster Artist, the quality of Franco’s central performance, and why we find the film so self-indulgent. I contradict myself by saying he’s only ever good with other directors and then talking about how great he here.
The podcast can be listened to in the player above or at this link.
José Arroyo and and Michael Glass of Writing About Film
Coarse, vulgar, cheap, low: Neighbors is a very big hit and a very depressing sight. It’s as if the terrain mined by Porky’s in the early 80’s has now become the only vein American comedy excels at: tit jokes, pissing contests, cock measurements, passing out with drink, getting high on anything. You can’t blame the very attractive cast. Most of them are comedians; and who could blame a comedian for stooping to a laugh? Moreover it’s funny: the audience reaction is proof of it. It is in fact also very intelligent and has some good lines (‘He looks like something a gay guy designed’, say Seth Rogen’s character of Zac Affron’s). But there’s the rub for me: all that intelligence, all that comedic talent… for what? Tit jokes? Even ‘with a twist’? In the words of Jonathon Gatehouse, ‘Everywhere you look these days, America is in a race to embrace the stupid’. Neighbors is just one more example. A sad commentary on American Comedy and on America itself.