The Franco Files #10


Welcome to November, and the second-to-last edition of The Franco Files!*

You know what? I’ll just spare you the time of looking around on the page for an explanation for that asterisk that sits naggingly in the previous sentence and just explain right here: it basically indicates that this is pretty much the end of TFF in the form we currently know it. I am still not yet sure what I will do after this or with what actor/actress I might go with. In fact I’m thinking of drafting up a list of five to ten people and letting you guys decide who I should shine the spotlight on next.

I’ve really enjoyed doing this feature and hope you have enjoyed reading along. I probably haven’t said much about Franco that you haven’t known already, but maybe. . .just maybe. . . I have drawn attention to some of the things he’s helped create that some of you may not have known about before. And if there’s any justice in the world of movie blogging, this feature has served its purpose thus far; it should now be abundantly clear to my readers that I dig what Franco has been doing and hopefully will continue to do with his career.


Francophile #10: Mr. B, Palo Alto

Role Type: Supporting

Genre: Drama

Character Profile: Everyone loves Coach B. Well, a lot of the girls on the Palo Alto High varsity soccer team do, anyway. He’s a nice guy and more than a little flirtatious with a few of them, in particular the pretty but ambivalent April (Emma Roberts). His laid-back attitude and nonchalance about his inability to separate professional and personal capacities will envelop him in a dodgy, clandestine relationship with a student. Mr. B is a shady character whose personality allows him to stay just on the periphery of being unlikable. 

If you lose Franco, the film loses: Franco’s somehow-charming sleaziness. It works wonders with this morally questionable school employee, a role in which he’s never actually considered himself fit to play. Trust me when I say that this is the kind of role tailor-made for those lining Franco up in their crosshairs, ready to snipe criticism at him left and right for exhibiting a school notebook’s worth of despicable character traits. All formal complaints leveled against his character’s actions and decisions are understandable, but if you were to ask this reviewer no one else could do Mr. B better than James Franco.  

Out of Character: “I had just assumed I wasn’t going to be in it. [Gia] had been talking to me about other actors for the role of Mr. B. And then after talking to me about other people for about a month, running names by me, she finally said to me, ‘You know I’ve always wanted you to be in it, you’ve been one of my favorite actors since Freaks & Geeks,’ and I thought maybe she’s just buttering me up to play the slimeball. Up to that point I’d done everything possible to help them make the movie, including helping them find financing and everything, so I wasn’t going to say no, I’m not going to be the bad guy. Also, I wasn’t ignorant of the fact that she comes from a Hollywood family, and probably in the back of my head I thought that if anybody has film-making in her blood, it’s gotta be Gia.” 

Rate the Performance (relative to his other work): 


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10 thoughts on “The Franco Files #10

  1. Pingback: The Franco Files #11 | digitalshortbread

  2. So I totally dig this idea for a series on a site, Tom! I love the idea of you selecting a handful of people and having your readers ultimately choose from that list. Just seems like a lot of fun!

    As for Palo Alto, I haven’t seen the film, but I do like Mr. Franco, so perhaps sometime in the future I will have to check it out.

    I can’t help but laugh knowing that his character’s name is Mr. B. My husband and I love this steak restaurant called Mr. B’s. I guess I’ll always think of Mr. Franco now when we go there ;-).


    • Well here’s yet another comment overlooked! My apologies Kristen! Hahah.

      Thank you for the compliments on TFF, that’s too kind really. I’ve really really enjoyed putting this part together. It’s turned out to be a nice supplement to the site here, and a different way of looking at movies.

      Funny story about Franco’s character’s name — hahah. Maybe one day he’ll actually be serving in there and be doing research for an upcoming part. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I still haven’t seen this.

    However, I believe Franco is perfect for this role. He hyped it up well by being creepy as hell when his text messages with that young chick fell into the public well of knowledge. What a great sell, eh?


    But yeah, I wonder if he actually smashes younger chicks in real life. He could have easily lied and said it was to create publicity for the film because he got caught!


    • That rhyme was sick yo. Become a rapper.

      I’ll sign you.

      But for cereals, if you can get your mitts on Palo Alto, I do recommend it. It’s a small-time movie but with grand visions of accurately pinning down high school/teenage angst. So on some levels I guess this film has great potential to rub people the wrong way, but I think your tastes will allow for this movie to be more appealing than repelling.

      It’s weird. I can’t exactly explain why I was won over by this movie but Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” absolutely annoyed me. They are very similar movies at least tonally, but maybe the characters here are more likable? Nah. . .I don’t even think that’s true. Whatever it is, Palo Alto works. And Franco may have been that big factor! Haha.


    • Yay! First commenter! Hahah. (What is this, Facebook, Tom? Are you measuring comment popularity now?) lol

      But seriously, thanks for checking in. As TFF winds down I’m definitely finding some more ‘obscure’ stuff from the guy, but I think Palo Alto showcased his talents quite effectively.


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