This is the End (2013)

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This is going to be a mini review for two reasons 1) I caught this film on TV and missed a bit of the beginning. 2) I think analyzing a comedy too much takes away from simply enjoying it and I don’t really want to spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

I loved him. Then I hated him. Now I'm starting to love James Franco again.
I loved him. Then I hated him. Now I’m starting to love James Franco again.

This is the End is a meta comedy written and directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. Seth also stars in the film along with James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel, and Danny McBride among many others. The film is meta because each of the actor’s plays a heightened version of themselves and toys with the public’s perceptions of them. The whole film feels like an inside joke among a group of friends and the audience is invited to feel like another one of the guys. I love Jay Baruchel, but the best actor in this film, at least to me, is James Franco. His timing is impeccable and his reputation as a pretentious D-bag (in Star Lord’s words) really works for him here. I used to hate James Franco, but he definitely has charisma. And this film, combined with The Interview if it’s successful, can turn things around for him and make me (as well as a lot of other people) like him again.

Emma Watson versus Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen.
Emma Watson versus Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen.

There are a lot of cameos in this film and that is definitely one of its strong suits. I loved Emma Watson, she was tougher than any of the guys. Near the very end I was thrilled to see the Backstreet Boys show up (Backstreet forever). But by far my favorite was Channing Tatum as a sex slave. I am really starting to like him and the whole concept there was just hilarious. Another highlight was the reference/spoof of Rosemary’s Baby. I was so thrilled to see that as it is one of my favorite films. And lastly, my favorite scene was the argument between James Franco and Danny McBride about cumming everywhere. The audience can see how much fun the actors are having with that scene which makes it all the more enjoyable. Actually, I think that notion applies to the whole film. The joy these guys have working together emanates off the screen and is infectious. I would recommend this film to anyone who likes their comedy a little on the raunchy side. So many comedies fail, it’s nice to finally see one succeed. 8/10

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