James Franco Sounds Off on Breaking Dawn

We knew it was coming sooner or later. James Fraco spent the better part of 2010 and early 2011 making obscure Twilight references, and even made a pitch to be in the movie, and now he’s commenting on it.

Check out his thoughts on Breaking Dawn and the Descendants in Paris Review:

Death comes pretty simply in the latest installment of Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series, too: the conceit allows the filmmakers to get away with murder, literally. Meyers has set her vampire story in adolescence (never mind that Edward is more than a hundred years old and could probably be Bella’s great-great-grandfather), and the constraints and abilities of the vampires become a metaphor for the emotional chaos of high school. In the first “Twilight” installment, Edward can’t kiss Bella because he is afraid that he will get so excited he’ll loose[SIC] control of himself and suck her blood; for them, sex is tantamount to death. Not that this sense of decorum prevents Edward from killing evil vampires, or nearly murdering a group of young men whose rape-fixated thoughts he can psychically overhear. Edward has murdered, and in Breaking Dawn we learn that he has murdered lots.

Of course, a few other forbidden territories are broken in as well. The protagonists finally marry, having waited until the wise old age of eighteen, and since the book and the film dutifully show them being wed, they are then allowed to fuck each others’ brains out. For a film that claims to be sexually responsible, the “Twilight” movies are awfully dependent on teenage sex to attract viewers. The actors prance about like pieces of meat, their disturbingly developed bodies on full display; Taylor Lautner’s rippling teenage chest is just a little better than the child beauty-pageant stars at the end of Little Miss Sunshine. The fans have divided themselves into teams (Team Jacob and Team Edward) and, considering that they already know the outcome of the love triangle between Bella, Edward, and Jacob, the choice of a team can mean little more than—well, you can imagine.

Not that sex leads to anything splendid when it finally does happen: Bella (spoiler alert!) becomes pregnant with a vampire that apparently develops to birth size within weeks, requires her to drink blood, and is eating her from the inside. This terrifying picture of pregnancy culminates with Bella’s rival lovers giving her a C-section, as if they are playing some perverse adolescent game of doctor.

Motherhood is the fall guy in The Descendants, too. It’s revealed early on that the daughter hates her mother because she caught her mother cheating; it is the daughter, in fact, who reveals the affair to her father and aids in the hunt for the other man. The mother remains comatose, and the movie suggests that the adulteress got what she deserved. Not even her lover, when he finally surfaces, loves her.

Bella initially fares little better; despite the boys’ best efforts, she dies in childbirth. But not to worry! She can be saved by being turned into a vampire, a recourse not available to most teen moms. But then again, those “Twilight” creators know how to get their blood—and eat it, too.

One would have hoped that the Yale MFA program would have afforded him the opportunity to discern the difference between lose and loose…alas, no.


  1. Sour grapes much?

  2. CullenCoven says:

    *laughs and shakes head* Oh God.

  3. Your comment at the end makes you look like Bitter Betties! He hit the nail on the head with this one, spelling error and all. By not saying something like, “We respectfully disagree,” you’re coming off as passive aggressive and needlessly harsh with only a spelling correction and your holier-than-thou “one would have hoped.”

  4. He seems a bit bitter, but he could also simply be tired of the Twilight series being the biggest movie out right now. And the comment about ‘lose’ and ‘loose’ instantly reminded me of the Volturi in the end, but without the instant (but most likely extraordinarily painful) death.

  5. James Franco – just totally pissed me off with his Paris Review article let alone FabLife picking up on it – so I replied

    I read this partical article and even had it saved to reply to it – amazing that Franco who tried so hard to be in these movies, can chastise it so easily. Most of all his quotes in the Paris Review, are not even correct if he had read the books. You can not complain about a story and the adaptation of a movie, if you have not read how it became to be. Hence if you had to researched like you did here, “James Franco might have once watched a gay prostitute straight-up have sex with a client to prepare for a role” – perhaps he should to the same to what he is referencing others work.

    He quotes – In the first “Twilight” installment, Edward can’t kiss Bella because he is afraid that he will get so excited he’ll loose control of himself and suck her blood; for them, – well not exactly James, he can’t loose control because –

    “I could kill you quiet easily bella, simply by accident, I could reach outt out meaning to touch your face, and crush your skull by mistake.”

    And as for the continuation of his rant – he forgets the most important thing – James!!!!! Its Fiction – idiot,

    Vampires, Werevoves, Demon babies…. FICTION!!!!!!!!!!!
    —– Original Message —–

  6. I suspect that Franco actually admires the way that Twilight taps into intense psychosexual archetypes (in a way much braver than some of the ‘scary’ vamp franchises) but he couches that in terms of mockery and sanctimonious scolding so as not to compromise his hipster cred.

    “Taylor Lautner’s rippling teenage chest is just a little better than the child beauty-pageant stars at the end of Little Miss Sunshine.”

    That’s just nuts. Now, if he had related Lauter’s shirtlessness to the tighty whitey-clad vamps of David DeCocteau’s The Brotherhood or Stuart Townshend’s chest-baring portrayal of Lestat in Queen of the Damned, he might be on to something. Or if he had placed the Twilight wolf pack in the context of the lycanthropy-puberty connection made in The Company of Wolves and Ginger Snaps. As it stands, his analysis of BD Pt. 1 is shallow and not helped by the strained attempt to compare it to The Descendants.

  7. He can have his opinion if he wants to, it doesn’t mean we are, or he is right. They parade around half naked because that is how they change, their clothes bust off of them unless they take them off, so they wear their shorts or stash their shorts somewhere. It was never intentional for the sake of strutting for teenage girls. It was necessity because they could not keep buying new clothes. I am not sure if he is seriously critiquing or if this is a school project for him. Either way, he is entitled to his opinion. I think the story is so much simpler than that. Stephenie had a dream, and she wrote it down.

  8. *smiles*.

    Yeah! Nothing but trouble, all those damnable, trilogy-fiction-never-do-well, outrageous character, bad guys…
    Need to be rid of the lot of ’em. Vampires, Warewolves, Romulans, Sith Lords! Especially those damn loose cannons, that go off looking for revenge like, Lex Luthor, The Joker, The Green Goblin…oh wait…not him. He does not count, he was…misunderstood.

    *coughs laughing*

    James Franco…lol. Don’t pout!

  9. Jealous much, Franco?

    What a POS article…

    • Joshua L. Roberts says:

      Franco may be blunt, and I think his rant is a bit much, but he is entitled to his opinion whether he likes or hates the saga. I don’t see ANY reason why Franco would be jealous…period… He was part of the Spider-Man franchise, of which has been one of Hollywood’s most lucrative franchises. He’s been a part of many other successful movies as well.

      He may have wanted to be a part of Twilight as well, but then again, what young actor/actress wouldn’t? The exposure is huge.

      So don’t be hating Franco because his opinions aren’t yours.

  10. He bugs me.

  11. I would have to say, that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Bottom line is that everyone is a critic but the majority rules and the Twilight series is on top, not to mention Stephanie is laughing all the way to the bank.

  12. Is anyone else annoyed with James Franco! He is such an egotistical prick! I don’t care that he went to Yale or Harvard or whatever…he is another actor who thinks he is so brillent because he can add an Ivy league school to his resume. The fact is he is a horrible actor. I can name 5 actors that have so much more to offer than he does. He clearly is just a Douche!

  13. Gigi Cullen says:

    It does seem that James Franco has a bite of sour grapes over the whole saga. But… can someone please explain his rant in the second to the last paragraph. Mother cheating, daughter finding out bla bla bla… I don’t understand that at all. Am I missing something in the book or movie? Because I really don’t get it, really.

    • Joshua L. Roberts says:

      James is speaking about “The Descendants”… at that point is just making comparisons about “sex gone bad”…

  14. Franco definitely sounds “off.”

  15. I love James Franco I loved that you was here in houston attending classes at university of houston but like the other chick said, shhhhh!!!!! if you don’t have anything nice to say, then be quiet because you sound like your JEALOUS!!!!!! 127 hours and all lol

  16. I may be the naysayer, but I didn’t read it as sour grapes at all. I read it more of a satire in the way Jonathan Swift wrote. I believe he knows it is fiction and he is making fun of some the hysteria that is coming with it. Much like some of us who remember the hysteria of the cabbage patch doll of the mid 80s. We will look back and say things like Franco. Not saying I totally agree with him, but I do see the satire and humor for what it is.

  17. Heidi Woodruff says:

    It seems to me that James Franco is jealous that he is not sought after like the actors in Twilight. Ok and yes James Franco has a nice body, but I have never seen him in a series that I wanted to watch over and over again. I love falling in love with the Twilight saga again every time I watch it. It’s the characters that Stephanie Meyer created. Thanks Stephanie!!
    It’s a world of dreams, what’s there not to love…my monkey man…Team Emmitt and make me feel at ease Jacob….mmmm…do I need to say more

  18. This has all been said before. Variations of the beginning of this critique have been written, and more eloquently than that, years ago. As for the ending, all the critical reviews are repeating the same blather. He basically copy and pasted from other people’s reviews, making him seem not only less intelligent but also not credible.

  19. smitten_by_twilight says:

    “Forbidden territories are broken in?” Sheesh. Not sure James is getting his money’s worth.

  20. CullenCoven says:

    He needs to shut up and leave Twilight alone for more than 127 Hours at a time.

  21. Once again Twilight is the bad guy. The irresponsible role model encouraging the youth of america to fall in love with vampires and werewolves and get married at 19 just so they can have sex. Please.

    There is plenty, and I mean PLENTY of YA literature full of high school kids having sex and even drug use and drinking. But Twilight is baaaad.

    And how about movies like Whatever It Takes, which James Franco co-starred, about high school buddies trying to hook each other up with dates for prom. I seem to recall a scene where Franco is practically naked and blindfolded and tied to a bed. That’s a responsible message.

    And of course there is the TV show Vampire Diaries….full of HS kids gettin’ it on. Hey James, where’s your article on that?

    I used to be a huge James Franco fan but more and more lately he has been turning me off. Of course he’s entitled to his opinion, but that doesnt mean his opinion isn’t out of line.

  22. I liked Franco’s article. I respect him to begin with, but I just wish his article/essay had a stronger conclusion (and a proper grammar/spelling check). It sounded like he was actually going somewhere interesting and unique besides “Twilight is bad”, but he just ended it with a whimper instead of a bang.

  23. MariposaAlice says:

    I’m surprised James Franco went into what everyone else is saying. He just doesn’t seem like the type. How weird. I wonder if he really believes that, or was just saying it…He does sound bitter, only because he really did like Twilight and wanted to be in the movie. Huh.

Leave a Comment