James Franco would like you to know that it's great to be James Franco.
What else is new, you say? Samsung is now paying Franco to play himself, in a new video from Cheil, also directed by Franco, that's supposed to be an ad for the Samsung Galaxy Note tablet but is actually an ad for James Franco.
"Oh, hi, I'm James Franco," the actor-producer-etc. says at the start of the commercial, all casually—because what is he chopped liver, of course you know who he is—before proceeding to tell you about all the awesome accomplishments of James Franco and taking you on a single-shot tour of the James Franco complex.
The house is, naturally, filled with beautiful women to whom Franco is the concerned caretaker, and hip skater guys to whom Franco is the thoughtful benefactor, and tweed-less math dweebs to whom Franco is the generous professor. It's all meant to feel tongue-in-cheek, which mostly just makes it seem even more smug. That's probably because Franco is just too good an actor, and really got inside the role of himself playing himself.
The best moment in the spot, by far, is around the 2:20 mark, when Franco tries to take a bite of the toast he's been making while filming the commercial, but misses his mouth. A few more gags like that might have better signaled that James Franco was actually laughing at James Franco, and made the ad more ha-ha funny, rather than a too-realistic, mellower (cough, Pineapple Express, cough) and more effete version of an Old Spice commercial. (Ladies, James Franco may be dreamy, but he is not the man your man could smell like.)
Oh, and by the way, James Franco uses the Galaxy Note to help him multitask, which he is known for doing much better than everyone else. Or, at least, is known for doing. See, abundance of product shots notwithstanding, James Franco is just too riveting to not overshadow anything. Except for, maybe, you know, James Franco.
Agency: Cheil USA
Chief Creative Officer: Lars Bastholm
Group Creative Director: Adam Wohl
Producer: Teresa Wakabayashi
Account Executive: Dongkwan Kim
Senior Planner: Chris Hong
Production Company: SXM
Director: James Franco
Executive Producer: Thomas Bannister
Producer: Larry Laboe
Director of Photography: Bruce Thierry Cheung
Postproduction: Click 3X
Postproducer: Jon O'Hara
Editors: Edward Einhorn, Erin McCaffrey