A video has been making the internet rounds today that stars (and was most likely directed, cinematographied, and produced by) the illustrious and prolific James Franco. It’s conceived in the grand tradition of the James Franco music video, wherein our beloved auteur takes one (1) current pop song and puts his own postmodern spin on it by pretending to sing it into the camera, or “lip syncing,” as they say. The video is, I posit, an improvement upon the form, as Franco displays a deeper verisimilitude with his subject–in this case, Justin Bieber–than ever before.
This is all par for the course, but what really makes this particular video special is this: the giggling presence of Franco’s Spring Breakers co-star and rumored lover Ashley Benson, and Franco’s subsequent treatment of the clip, suggest that James Franco and Ashley Benson, are, in fact, totally doing it.
According to The New York Observer, the video was originally posted to Franco’s WhoSay account, but he deleted it rather quickly. But not before someone grabbed it and put it on Youtube. This mirrors a recent incident in which Benson posted, then quickly deleted, a festive photo of Mr. Franco grabbing her boob on New Year’s Eve.
There’s nothing particularly sexual about the video, unless you count the sexy way she gropes all up on him, the sexy way she dances, or the way they look at one another as if to say, “we are having so much fun getting stoned and having crazy monkey sex and making goofy videos together.” There is also the song’s teasing title, “Boyfriend.”
But why would James and Ashley keep posting brief glimpses into their fabulous celebrity relationship if they are just going to keep on denying it exists? The same reason any celebrity would do so:
to get attention as part of a PhD thesis they are working on about the coded semiotics of fame.