For anyone hoping that there were areas of creativity that James Franco might not permeate, I regret to inform you that he’s moved into short stories. The man’s motto might as well be ‘no art is sacred’.
Anyway, he wrote a short story for Vice called ‘Bungalow 89′, and it’s about Lindsay Lohan. Or actually, it’s about ‘a fictional Hollywood girl’, as he says at the top, right before he reels off a list of identifying features (former child star, mother-daughter relationship issues, DUIs, trouble with the law, drug use, theft, lived at the Chateau Marmont, and corresponded almost exactly to a story about Lilo that he already told Howard Stern), capped off with the sentence, “Let’s call this girl Lindsay.” I mean, c’mon, why even bother?
Honestly, the only thing I can really do at this point is to show you the excerpts, because they’re ridiculous. He describes Lindsay basically stalking him, and has her character self admit to taking Oxycontin and having sex with strangers, but what I don’t think he realizes is that he himself comes off pretty much just as badly.
“There was a Hollywood girl staying at Chateau Marmont. She had gotten a key to my room from the manager. I heard her put the key into my front door and turn it, but I had slid the dead bolt. [...] She said, ‘James, open the door.[...] Open the door, you bookworm punk blogger faggot.’’”
Wonderful! A homophobic slur right off the bat! This is the part where Lindsay doesn’t look good.
My phone rang. She let it ring until I answered.
“You’re not going to let me sleep, are you?”
“Do you think this is me? Lindsay Lohan. Say it. Say it, like you have ownership. It’s not my name anymore.”
“I just want to sleep on your couch. I’m lonely.”
“We’re not going to have sex. If you want to come in, I’ll read you a story.”
“A bedtime story?”
“It’s called ‘A Perfect Day for Bananafish.’
Do you think I’ve created this? This dragon girl, lion girl, Hollywood hellion, terror of Sunset Boulevard, minor in the clubs, Chateau Demon? Do you think this is me?”
This is so weird, James, but I think your fictional character accidentally has the full name of a real person.
“Once upon a time a guy, a Hollywood guy, read some Salinger to a young woman who hadn’t read him before. Let’s call this girl Lindsay. She was a Hollywood girl, but a damaged one. I knew that she would like Salinger, because most young women do.”
Shut up, James Franco. Just shut right up.
“I read her two of the Nine Stories, ‘A Perfect Day for Bananafish’ and ‘For Esmé—with Love and Squalor.’ ‘Bananafish’ was great because it has a nagging mother on the other end of the phone line, nothing like Lindsay’s real mother, but still, the mother-daughter thing was good for her to hear.”
Look, Blue! A clue! A clue about this fictional girl, who has a mother not at all like Dina Lohan.
“I ran my fingers through her hair and thought about this girl sleeping on my chest, our fictional Hollywood girl, Lindsay. What will she do? I hope she gets better. You see, she is famous. She was famous because she was a talented child actress, and now she’s famous because she gets into trouble. She is damaged. For a while, after her high hellion days, she couldn’t get work because she couldn’t get insured. They thought she would run off the sets to party. Her career suffered, and she started getting arrested (stealing, DUIs, car accidents, other things).
MY GOODNESS BLUE I THINK I SOLVED IT.
“But the arrests, even as they added up, were never going to be an emotional bottom for her, because she got just as much attention for them as she used to get for her film performances. She would get money offers for her jailhouse memoirs, crazy offers. So how would she ever stop the craziness when the response to her work and the response to her life had converged into one? Two kinds of performance, in film and in life, had melted into one. But I suppose a tabloid-performance run is limited for anyone. After a while it’s just an out-of-control vehicle running on fumes.”
Well, thank goodness she has you looking out for her at least, James. I was worried that all her friends might be the Hollywood type who would sell her out for a psuedo-intellectual, poorly-edited think-piece in Vice.