The Mad King James Franco did a weird thing on Monday, probably to teach us all a lesson about the meaningless, ephemeral Cult of Celebrity, or because he hate-loves attention: he posted a weird "parody" video of himself lip-synching to Justin Bieber's song, "Girlfriend," online, then deleted it.
Franco's co-star for most of the video is the girlfriend he refuses to acknowledge as his girlfriend, Pretty Little Liars little liar Ashley Benson. At the end of the clip, another young woman joins them for a few frames.
It's not exactly clear what James Franco hoped to accomplish when he filmed this video in a hotel room, though the default answer is "devastating social commentary." In the past, when denying his relationship to Benson, Franco described her as being one of "[Justin] Bieber's girls."
"...and I wouldn't dare tangle with the Biebs. I heard he wants to kick my ass. Yikes!"
Is it time to bust out the wide-tooth comb and detangler spray? Does this count as tangling?
As for what actually happens in the video, the answer is: EVERYTHING VERY CLOSE UP. At one point Franco and Benson make eyes at the camera while appearing to sit on a toilet next to a shower. There are also lots of blurry shots of her booty-popping on the floor and writhing around in bed. Franco is dressed up like vintage Bieber, in a baseball cap and floppy wig. It's not at all similar to the original video, except for the fact that it features the Justin Bieber song "boyfriend."
Grantland points out that the video may have been filmed as early as last spring, when he spoke to Vulture about having filmed a Bieber lip-synch video and opined on the unbearable lightness of being James Franco.
"The latest is Bieber, and I'm sure people will be writing about that. […] Part of it is, 'Wow, I guess I just tapped into what they want!' You know, this pop, surface-level kind of thing, but done in a way where you feel like something else is going on. Or the fact that it's me doing it is like … fascinating to people, I guess…"
If you're curious, you can check out a couple other videos of almost-award-winning blogger James Franco lip-synching to Selena Gomez and Gotye here and here. But he would be disappointed if you didn't check out some of his art too.