If you’ve ever wanted to take a trip inside James Franco’s head, I highly recommend going to see Oz: The Great and Powerful this weekend. It’s a phenomenal trip into the brain of someone who’s clearly not living in our world. The whole time I watched the movie I questioned whether James Franco was acting or simply reacting to things in the way he normally would. I don’t know if he’d really question the presence of a flying monkey in a bellhop uniform in real life, so his reaction to meeting him in the movie seemed pretty realistic for James Franco. “That’s odd, but not at all unbelievable, carry my bags flying monkey.” So to say he’s perfectly cast for the role as Oz is an understatement. No one’s ever been more suited to play the role of a magician who doesn’t really give a shit.
Yes, that’s right. The Wizard of Oz doesn’t give a shit about anything. Especially the ladies. Sure he likes wooing them and sexing them, but he doesn’t so much like being nice to them when it no longer suits him. We learn this fun fact about him as soon as the movie starts. He’s working as the magician in a traveling circus and it’s instantly clear that he moves pretty quickly through attractive assistants. It’s only a local lady, played by Michelle Williams, who seems to make him think twice about sleeping around so much. (Here’s a hint for ladies who always pick the wrong guys: if he’s a magician in a traveling circus, he’s not the guy for you.)
But then in classic black-and-white Kansas fashion, a tornado hits and he’s swept off to Oz in a hot air balloon. Upon landing in this magical place — which like I said above doesn’t really faze him as much as it should — he meets Theodora (Mila Kunis). She’s a naive little witch who believes that Oz is the great and powerful wizard who’s going to save them from the wicked witch. She insists on bringing him to the Emerald City so he meet the good people of Oz and show them that the hard times are over. (Before you get confused, his name is Oz and he’s in Oz.)
Because Oz is an opportunist with a truth-telling problem, he goes along with all of this. Anything to get in a pretty witch’s pants, am I right or what? While on the way to the Emerald City, Oz seduces Theodora and let her believe that they’re going to get married and rule over Oz together.
Now, in Oz’s defense, Theodora’s a little clingy, a little without appropriate boundaries. In 24 hours she goes from “hey this is crazy, but here’s my number, call me maybe” to “before we get to the Emerald City, we’re going to stop at Jared’s Galleria of Jewelry and pick out our engagement ring.” However in Theodora’s defense, she’s clearly never met a guy who’s been nice to her before. So it’s not hard to see why she falls so hard for this great and powerful wizard. I mean, he asks her to dance. No man’s ever asked her to dance before. Especially a man who the prophet predicted would save everyone from doom. If doom-busting isn’t an aphrodisiac, then I don’t know what is.
Things take a turn for the worse when Oz arrives in the Emerald City and Theodora’s evil sister Evanora (Rachel Weisz) sends him out to the dark forest to kill Glinda the Good (Michelle Williams). He’s all like, shouldn’t I say bye to Theodora first? And she’s all like nahhh don’t worry about it, she’s not all emotionally unstable right now, so she won’t freak out when she finds out you left.
Twist! Evanora lied. She knows Theodora’s on the verge of a nervous breakdown. So while Oz is off hunting down Glinda, Theodora’s upstairs in her room, just planning out their wedding on Pinterest, figuring out table settings and doing what girls do when they’re about to get hurt really badly. Therefore you can probably guess that Theodora does not take it well when she finds out that Oz left without saying bye. And here’s something you should know about witches. When they don’t take something well, they turn into wicked witches. Literal wicked witches.
When Theodora looks into her magic crystal ball and sees Oz flirting with Glinda, her heart breaks. Which is just what Evanora needed to convince her to turn to the dark side of witchery. Yes it’s heartache that drives Theodora into the arms of evil. Not poor parenting or sociopathic tendencies, but sorrow. Pretty sad, right?
Turns out the Wicked Witch is just like every other girl you know who loses it when she gets ditched by some douchebag for another girl. Except unlike on Earth where we can only get through the pain by clicking through the new girl’s photos on Facebook and finding reasons to call her ugly, Theodora can get through it by sending trained flying baboons to murder innocent people. As well as use her magic to imprison the new girl (Glinda) and torture her in front of all her friends. Picture Carrie meets Azkaban meets your craziest friend.
After seeing the lengths to which some of my friends go when they’re upset about a guy, I’m happy we don’t have access to evil magic on Earth. Because the last thing you need is your craziest friend calling you from some cave outside Manhattan and being like , “come quickly, my flying baboons captured that bitch for me and I’m going to kill her using my wand.” It’s hard enough making her admit that the new girl isn’t a heinous monstrosity sent here to ruin her life. I can’t imagine how much more complicated it gets when witchcraft gets involved.
So in conclusion, go see the movie. Just know that some of it might seem really familiar. Like a page ripped from the chapter in your biography called “tearful calls at 2 A.M from a distraught and drunken friend.”