James franco christmas movie

Between A Christmas Prince and Christmas Inheritance, there’s no shortage of bad holiday movies to watch this season, but you can really never have enough. In a cut sketch from the James Franco–hosted episode of Saturday Night Live, James stars in some fake Hallmark Christmas movies that sound insane, but not so insane that you wouldn’t watch them if they were real. In Yes, Santa!, Lydia (Jessica Normal, aka Kate McKinnon) moves home to run her grandma’s Christmas tree farm and reconnects with her high-school sweetheart (Canadian handsome Chris Bearstick, aka James Franco). “The only catch? He’s Young Santa.”

In voiceover, Cecily Strong notes one of the most important qualities of real Hallmark movies: “Whether she’s that girl from Party of Five or he’s that guy from Desperate Housewives, you’ll be asking, ‘Wait, how do I know that actor?'” Well if you’re watching Prince Santa, then you definitely know him from Yes, Santa! — Chris Bearstick is in both.

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Eliza Thompson senior entertainment editor I’m the senior entertainment editor at Cosmopolitan.com, which means my DVR is always 98 percent full.

As Seth Rogen and James Franco team up later this year for another movie, we thought we’d have a throwback of their collaborations, ranked from worst to best. Zeroville (2019) is set to be released in September and tells the story of a young actor as he arrives in Hollywood in 1969. The film stars the two comedy geniuses, along with upcoming Joey King, Megan Fox, Will Ferrell, Dave Franco, and Danny McBride.

In order to prepare for this new comedy-drama, let’s throw it back to where it all began with Seth Rogen and James Franco, and which ones you should watch (or rewatch!) before Zeroville comes to the big screen.

8 The Sound and the Fury (2014)

Franco, director and star, takes on bringing William Faulkner’s infamous novel to the big screen, and critics weren’t exactly in for it. With a 4.8/10 on IMDb and an Audience Score of 32% on Rotten Tomatoes, this drama falls short of the novel and as a film altogether. While Seth Rogen only has a minor role in this one, Franco isn’t able to save it himself. Although there were little complaints on Franco’s acting, people were still snoozing through this one. If you’ve read the novel, you’d realize how scrambled this movie must be. Therefore, this film takes the last slot on the list.

7 The Green Hornet (2011)

While Seth Rogen is the star in this film, sharing the spotlight with Jay Chou, this film also falls short of expectations, especially with such a killer cast. This film follows Britt Reid (Rogen), the heir to his father’s large company, who teams up with his late father’s assistant (Chou) to become a crime fighting duo. While this film definitely has its entertaining comedic and action-packed moments, it still only managed a 5.8 on IMDb and 43% on Rotten Tomatoes. Critics weren’t crazy about this one, but it isn’t terrible if you’re looking for an awkward, laughable, action-crime film with a stellar cast. Franco also has a minimal role in this one, and we’re starting to think that the duo’s films are much better when they both have a big part in the movie.

6 Sausage Party (2016)

This R-rated animated film is not hiding anything. In fact, the entire plot of the movie is in the name. It follows a sausage as he takes an adventure through the supermarket, all the while learning about his existence. The truth reveals a dark secret, and he embarks on a mission to break the news to his fellow products in an attempt to rebel against the human consumers. This movie is absurd, offensive, and overall hilariously ridiculous (insert a scene where the products celebrate with a store-wide orgy). This movie is right up your ally if you’re one to laugh until your belly hurts at slapstick, dirty humor.

Your favorite products are voiced by Seth Rogen, James Franco, Salma Hayek, Michael Cera, Jonah Hill, Danny McBride, Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig, and many, many more. This film is downright the definition of “cringe comedy,” so fasten your seat-belt for some pretty grotesque product deaths and innuendo. Party at your own risk, and be prepared never to eat a sausage again.

5 The Interview (2014)

This risky, political satire comedy launched a parade of ridicule and hesitance from the press, but ultimately the comedic duo took the leap and landed in a hilarious, ridiculous heap. The movie follows talk-show host Dave (Franco) and his producer (Rogen) as they land an incredible interview with none other than Kim Jong-Un. The two are then enlisted by the CIA to assassinate the North Korean dictator. Directed by Evan Goldberg (see also This Is the End), this comedic treat definitely isn’t afraid to defy politics and give its viewers a controversial yet entertaining ride.

As “the movie they don’t want you to see,” Franco and Rogen quite literally battle every aspect of the North Korean regime (and even our Western capitalist one) all while befriending Kim Jong-Un. This film was definitely under-screened because of its risky, political nature, but if you love the humor that always follows this duo (and you’re not easily offended), it’s worth the watch. “What’s more destructive than nuclear bombs? Words.” (And definitely this film.)

4 The Night Before (2015)

This Christmas movie follows three lifelong friends as they search New York City on Christmas Eve for the Holy Grail of parties. With Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anthony Mackie taking the wheel on this one, it’s safe to say it doesn’t disappoint when it comes to its comedic aspects. This film also stars Jillian Bell, Michael Shannon, and the brilliant James Franco and Miley Cyrus (who play themselves). This film is a party in itself and managed to rank a 6.4 on IMDb. This fun flick never fails to make you laugh and cringe at the characters’ antics, or at least we dare you to try not to when Miley Cyrus and Joseph Gordon-Levitt sing a duet of “Wrecking Ball.” Forget those cheesy Christmas classics, this is definitely a Christmas movie to get behind. Fair warning: This is probably not a film to watch cuddled up with your kids (unless you can explain why those men are tripping on mushrooms and hallucinating about baby Jesus).

3 This Is the End (2013)

This movie has all of your favorite comedy geniuses all wrapped up into one dark comedy treat. It follows six Los Angeles celebrities (James Franco, Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson) during an apocalypse that is destroying the city. The six (who all play themselves!) are trapped inside Franco’s house but are forced to escape after a series of unfortunate events. Along the way, your comedy dream team runs into Michael Cera, Emma Watson, Mindy Kaling, Rihanna, Paul Rudd, and Channing Tatum.

This R-rated film will definitely have you simultaneously rolling your eyes and laughing until your gut hurts. Beware, it gets pretty ridiculous and (in)arguably uncomfortable (we’re talking alien sex scenes), but many declare it a comedic masterpiece. Brace yourself for Channing Tatum on a leash and Emma Watson with an incredibly large axe. What more needs to be said?

2 Pineapple Express (2008)

This movie deserves the silver medal of the Rogen-Franco duo, scoring a 7.0/10 on IMDb and a 73% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes. This classic is the oldest one on this list, and still holds up as the duo’s comedic best. After a process server (Rogen) witnesses his marijuana dealer’s (Franco) boss murder a competitor, the film follows the two as they run from hitmen and a corrupt police officer. This film also includes Craig Robinson and Danny McBride and offers the classic, absurd humor that launched their partnership and made their ingenuity known to the world. Pineapple Express has all the makings of an entertaining flick: Guns, romance, drugs, and Seth Rogen and Gary Cole fighting each other with fire extinguishers and fluorescent lights. If you need to brush up on your Rogen and Franco films, it would definitely serve to start here. “All aboard the pineapple express!”

1 The Disaster Artist (2017)

This movie-about-a-movie comes in first with a whopping 86% in Audience Score, 91% on the Tomatometer, and a 7.4 on IMDb. This biography takes form of both a comedy and a drama, telling the tale of Tommy Wiseau and Greg Sestero as they move to Hollywood to create the best film of all time: The Room. With brothers Dave Franco and James Franco taking the leading roles, Seth Rogen acts as Wiseau’s camera-man and fellow director. This whopping cast also includes Alison Brie, Zac Efron, Paul Scheer, and Josh Hutcherson.

This real-life movie is genius in its acting, directing, and comedy gold. The historical accuracy is even staggeringly impressive and tells an incredible story of friendship, failure, and fame. This film is horribly good, with enough cringe-inducing and heartwarming moments to frame its genuine story. Who doesn’t want to see Franco embracing the hell out of the role by struggling with the same line 60 times? It also snagged a nominee for Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards and Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the Golden Globes. James Franco also took home the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. Honestly, an artistic and humorous treat for Rogen and Franco fans, and even your mom.

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I am a university student studying Criminology & Psychology at St. Thomas University, with a burning passion for film! I am an avid reader, writer, and film-goer, and I love learning about movies, actors, directors, and sharing my passion and knowledge with others. I am a List Writer for ScreenRant, and love being a part of a film community where we all share the same passions.

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How this holiday-themed digital short got sliced for time from James Franco’s December 9 episode of Saturday Night Live is anyone’s guess. I’d list the skits that should have been bumped to make room, but better to get right to the goodies.

A commercial parody of all those gooey, just-this-side-of-watchable Hallmark Channel holiday movies, the short spotlights some too-close-for comfort faux movies like one in which Kate McKinnon plays a big-city career woman who quits to run her grandma’s Christmas tree farm, only to rekindle a high school romance with Franco’s Canadian-handsome actor. “Only catch – he’s Young Santa!” (“It’s either me or Christmas,” grouses the big-city boyfriend who works too much).

Then there’s a single mom (Heidi Gardner) who gets trapped in a snow globe (with Kenan Thompson as her “black co-worker with no backstory”), and Melissa Villaseñor as an ice skater who hits her head on a pole and becomes a princess – don’t ask – and falls in love with, yes, Prince Santa (Franco’s Canadian-handsome actor again).

As the gushing narrator says, these holiday charmers will leave you asking, “Wait, how do I know that actor?”

Check out the clip above. And no doubt on every SNL Christmas special Yet To Come.

Saturday Night Live hit the nail on the head in a recently revealed cut-for-time sketch about Hallmark Christmas movies. In the clip, starring December host James Franco, the bit centers on snippets of several new holiday movies, parodying the network’s obsession with churning out endless Christmas movies “all filmed during one month in Ottawa.”

“It’s quantity over quality, people,” the narrator exclaims, “and we are just blasting your ass with these.”

Franco plays “Canadian handsome” actor Chris Bearstick (a perfect fake name) in the sketch. In the first “movie,” he woos an old high-school sweetheart (played by Kate McKinnon), who’s unfortunately already in a relationship with a stuck-up businessman, a favorite Hallmark trope. “It’s either me or Christmas, Lydia!” he snarls into the phone. Thankfully, Lydia goes for Bearstick, who turns out to be, gasp, Young Santa. In another “movie,” Bearstick plays a mysterious royal who turns out to be, gasp, Prince Santa.

The sketch also pokes fun at other Hallmark Channel clichés, like the way the network reuses sets for numerous Christmas specials, and how it always casts semi-familiar stars, including a “once famous, now very Christian actress.” Go ahead and answer that one in your best Jeopardy voice: Who is Candace Cameron Bure?

Barack and Michele Obama’s Whirlwind Year After the White House

1 / 15Chevron Chevron by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images. January 20, 2017 Barack and Michelle share a kiss while waiting for Donald and Melania Trump to pull up to the White House.

Review: ‘Why Him?’ Is No Christmas Classic, But At Least James Franco Packs a Sack Full of Laughs

I believe it was the great Anton Chekhov who said that “If you show in the first act a glass cube encasing a dead moose that’s been entombed in its own urine, in the third act it simply must explode all over James Franco, with the stuffed creature’s testicles landing in the mouth of a hapless supporting character.” An insightful and unusually prescient guy, that Chekhov, even if he never wrote anything quite as pungent as John Hamburg’s “Why Him?”

A dumb, gross, and sometimes hilarious holiday movie that exists at the nexus between the cringe comedies of Ben Stiller and the bromantic opuses of Judd Apatow, “Why Him?” painlessly marries the formulaic body horror of “Meet the Parents” to the improv-driven, reference-heavy sweetness of “Knocked Up.” It’s not as memorable as the former nor as smart (or sincere) as the latter, but — and this is important — it’s also not “Office Christmas Party,” so let’s not be too dismissive.

READ MORE: James Franco to Direct ‘80s Romantic Drama ‘The Pretenders’ Starring Jane Levy

Directed by John Hamburg (“Along Came Polly”) from a story he conceived with Jonah Hill and Ian Helfer, this endless but eminently tolerable chunk of holiday cheer begins — as all Christmas classics do — with James Franco screaming the titles of Netflix shows while threatening to show the world his penis. Tapping into the same goofy guilelessness that made him so much fun to watch in films like “Pineapple Express,” the inexhaustible actor plays idiot tech zillionaire Laird Mayhew, and he’s introduced while on a Skype chat with his blandly adorable girlfriend, Stephanie (“Everybody Wants Some!!” breakout Zoey Deutch, adding a crucial spark to an underwritten role).

Meanwhile, a thousand miles east of Silicon Valley, Stephanie’s dad is on the verge of a crisis. A decidedly analog guy in an increasingly digital world, Ned “Big Cheese” Fleming (Bryan Cranston thanklessly serving in the Robert De Niro role) is struggling to keep his paper company from going under. When he, his wife (Megan Mullally), and their wide-eyed teenage son (Griffin Gluck) fly out to California to spend the holidays with Stephanie and her mysterious beau, Ned isn’t only confronted with every father’s worst fear, but also the realities of doing business in the 21st century. Every parent feels somewhat replaced when their oldest kid partners off, and “Why Him?” compounds that threat with the existential fear of being left behind by the times.

READ MORE: James Franco’s Movie Column: “The Love Witch” Is A Feminist B-Movie

It’s impressive that the movie has time to engage on both fronts considering that Laird is such an all-consuming horror show. For one thing, he’s real dumb. And not just regular dumb, but like gets Ned’s holiday card tattooed on his back in the hopes of making a good first impression dumb. He’s movie dumb.

Franco, for what it’s worth, completely owns this unfiltered register — he’s great at layering an impossible degree of stupidity beneath a puppy dog innocence, and while it’s never remotely believable that Stephanie would want to spend the rest of her life with a human cartoon like Laird, “Why Him?” isn’t dumb enough to forget that. Laird is Ned’s living nightmare, and he’s brought to life with nightmare logic. From the ridiculously stupid art that he’s mounted around his house (the standout pieces being the aforementioned moose installation and a painting called “Humping Capybaras,” which more than lives up to its title) to the German manservant who teaches Laird self-defense by ambushing him at all hours of the day (a very funny Keegan-Michael Key), the start-up scion is a cohesive character, so far as these things go.

Crucially, he’s also kind to the core. While the film flirts with the idea that Laird and Ned are competing to see who knows Stephanie better, Laird is just so desperate for Ned’s approval that the animus there is totally one-sided. There are no villains here, no dark surprises, no contrived “Ko Samui” misunderstandings. Just a lot of unconscionably extended set pieces about Japanese toilets, the tech industry, and an artificial intelligence system voiced by Kaley Cuoco.

Alas, there isn’t a single sequence in this movie that doesn’t run about 150% too long, and the gags are too situational to offer the cast the room necessary to riff for that amount of time (particularly when so many of the jokes don’t really land in the first place). The hit rate gets better as the film lumbers along and the scenarios grow more extreme, but it takes a certain degree of perseverance to roll with this thing until it pays off.

Still, we may soon yearn for comedies this frivolous and banal, this aggressively disconnected from anything that matters. Like going home for the holidays, “Why Him?” may not be the most enjoyable thing you do all year, but — like going home for the holidays — it’s adequately refreshing for anyone willing to sacrifice a little finesse for the warmth of familiarity. Just try not to stand near that moose thing if you can help it.

Grade: C+

“Why Him?” opens in theaters on December 23rd.

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James Franco is a Hallmark Christmas movie star in cut SNL spoof

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It’s just as Cecily Strong says, Christmas season is like the Super Bowl for the Hallmark channel.

In a sketch cut for time from James Franco’s latest episode of Saturday Night Live, the star of The Disaster Artist spoofs all those Hallmark Christmas movies as Chris Bearstick, a Canadian actor forced to star in such films like Yes, Santa (about a young Santa Claus falling in love with a woman who’s boyfriend works too much) and Prince Santa (about an ice skater who gets amnesia and ends up marrying a prince who’s also young Santa).

“It’s quantity over quality, people, and we are just blasting your ass with these,” Strong says in voiceover.

It’s funny ’cause these fake titles and premises aren’t that far off from actual Hallmark Christmas movies, such as A Christmas Prince (an actual Hallmark movie), With Love, Christmas (another real-life Hallmark movie), and Switched for Christmas (you get the idea).

Watch the sketch in the video above.

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Every Christmas season, we can be sure that Hallmark Channel will have more than enough heartwarming holiday films to keep us entertained all month. After all, as SNL points out in this spoof starring James Franco, Christmas is basically the Hallmark Channel’s Super Bowl.

And yes, these Hallmark holiday movies are super fun to watch, but we can’t help but notice they all seem a little similar. SNL hilariously mocks that idea with these commercials for “Yes, Santa” and “Prince Santa,” which feature James Franco as “Canadian handsome Chris Bearwick.” In both, he plays the town heartthrob who just might actually be Santa. And then there’s “Kitchen Christmas Wish,” where a small-town baker’s holiday wish goes terribly wrong.

This cut-for-time sketch also features the ever-funny Kate McKinnon as “Jessica Normal” and pokes fun at the fact that Hallmark movies always seem to star actors who are recognizable, but whose names you just can’t remember.

“You’ll be asking … wait, how do I know that actor?” says Cecily Strong in a voiceover.

She goes on to say “It’s quantity over quality, people, and we are just blasting you with these.” Touché.

Still, we can’t pretend that we haven’t been watching our favorite Hallmark Christmas movies all month (sometimes with a glass of wine and this fun drinking game). After all, tis the season!

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How this holiday-themed digital short got sliced for time from James Franco’s December 9 episode of Saturday Night Live is anyone’s guess. I’d list the skits that should have been bumped to make room, but better to get right to the goodies.

A commercial parody of all those gooey, just-this-side-of-watchable Hallmark Channel holiday movies, the short spotlights some too-close-for comfort faux movies like one in which Kate McKinnon plays a big-city career woman who quits to run her grandma’s Christmas tree farm, only to rekindle a high school romance with Franco’s Canadian-handsome actor. “Only catch – he’s Young Santa!” (“It’s either me or Christmas,” grouses the big-city boyfriend who works too much).

Then there’s a single mom (Heidi Gardner) who gets trapped in a snow globe (with Kenan Thompson as her “black co-worker with no backstory”), and Melissa Villaseñor as an ice skater who hits her head on a pole and becomes a princess – don’t ask – and falls in love with, yes, Prince Santa (Franco’s Canadian-handsome actor again).

As the gushing narrator says, these holiday charmers will leave you asking, “Wait, how do I know that actor?”

Check out the clip above. And no doubt on every SNL Christmas special Yet To Come.

Watch Saturday Night Live episodes on Hulu