A Love Letter to Internet James Franco

[show=jamesfranco size=large]I write today to profess a forbidden love. It has burned in me too long, and must be released…

I’ve got a thing for Internet James Franco.

Let me be clear about this. I have no actual interest in the talented and reliable co-star of Milk, Freaks and Geeks, and the Spider-man films, who is now pursuing a master’s degree at Columbia University. For, with the exception of Pineapple Express, James Franco has never shown much range in his film work, sticking mostly to roles that fit within his James Dean-esque image. James Dean was pretty, sure, but he spent a lot of time crying.

However, since 2007, Franco has been crafting a separate persona for web distribution only, and Internet James Dean might just be the man of my dreams. Internet James Franco doesn’t cry, but he’ll teach you his secrets for how to cry on camera. Internet James Franco doesn’t appear on the covers of magazines calling him “the Next James Dean;” Internet James Franco DOES his James Dean impression for you. Internet James Franco is a good older brother. Internet James Franco wants you to meet his mom. Internet James Franco is a catch.

Internet James Franco is found mostly on Funny or Die, who are also the team behind the bulk of these sketches, including the Acting With James Franco series (co-starring Franco’s younger brother Dave) and today’s new release, James Franco’s Rejected UCLA Commencement Speech. The profanity-filled address is a masterwork of improvisation, coupling moments like “this is where I get out my jetpack” with digs at his recent tabloid-making classroom nap.

But sometimes Internet James Franco branches out with more “artsy” experiments, such as when he destroyed an apartment on camera for Dave Eggers. (A clip from the short film, distributed on DVD by Wholphin, is available on YouTube.) He also recreated every performance from his entire career for the artist and filmmaker Carter, the trailer for which is trippy, strange, and shows that Internet James Franco might be a jerk, but he’s up for anything.

Sure, maybe this crush of mine is doomed, what with Internet James Franco being a fictional persona and all, but there’s something pure about the unrequited crush, the unselfish devotion. Besides, the bad boy thing can only last so long before it gets old — about five minutes on average, in my experience. Which just so happens to be the runtime of most of these shorts, and thus the perfect relationship.