It may be argued that James Franco's real life persona mirrors that of a soap opera character. He's an education addict who writes, acts, directs, paints and has buried his heartthrob image one head-scratching project at a time. When the hipster/scholar decided that he wanted to act on General Hospital, many were perplexed. The actor starred as Franco, a murderer who kills in order to create art projects. Though it put a dent in his credibility, his Oscar nomination for 127 Hours served as somewhat of an antidote to his laughable soap role.
Those looking to understand what's going on in Franco's overstuffed mind will find that Francophrenia offers few insights. The film mocks the internal monologue of the overworked actor who begins suffering from memory loss. In a perplexing voiceover (that isn't Franco's), he ponders who he is and what he's doing on the set of General Hospital. Directed by both Franco and the award-winning Ian Olds, you would expect the film to be insightful and amusing to watch. Instead it is an unfathomably clunky piece that serves as a definitive example of what a pretentious and self-indulgent film looks life.
There's even lengthy dialogue between the man and wheelchair silhouettes on a men's bathroom door, as they argue about Franco's unworthy status as the voice of his generation. Other scenes include Franco sitting in hair and make-up, as well as him shrieking: Don't kill me. I know where the baby is (a GH line that serves as the film's alternate title) repeatedly.
Those that enjoy weirdness coupled with experimental tropes will find Francophrenia entertaining. Others, who enjoy documentaries that tackle more pressing issues than James Franco's mind, will be considerably bored.