James Franco has just signed on to star in a live-action adaptation of Neil Strauss’ The Game, where he’ll play an unbelievably douchey pick-up artist by the name of Mystery. Yup.
For those uninitiated, The Game is a profoundly gross book by a profoundly gross writer, detailing the life of an unbelievably douchey pick-up artist by the name of Mystery. The Game is what would happen if /r/TheRedPill (don’t visit this sub-reddit unless you want to be grossed out by a segment of the male gender) got together and wrote a book. Hell, this is its actual synopsis:
The novel talks about a romantically frustrated man who joins a boot camp and becomes a pickup artist. He masters the art of attracting and seducing women so well that soon he turns out to be a guru in the area, outshining the person from whom he learnt the art. The book has surprise elements in the form of the author’s encounters with some of the most popular hollywood stars like tom cruise, britney spears, paris hilton, and more. The author transforms himself from a regular guy into a man whom every woman would want to be with. His tone, his conversation skills, and his style is enough to charm any woman. The climax is ironical to the beliefs of the community of pickup artists. The game helps women in understanding the behaviour of such men, and is also suitable for men who want to charm women.
Oh wow, an “ironical” climax! Is it the realization that women are more than sex objects? How enlightening. The core concept of this book is pretty sickening, and I can’t say I’m looking forward to experiencing it in cinematic form.
With that being said, Franco’s inclusion in the film is a bit of an odd one. Franco has already proven that he can make a terrible person be delightfully entertaining (see Spring Breakers), so hopefully he is able to do something similar here. I can only hope that Franco and co. are approaching this adaptation from a satirical angle, pointing out the absurdity of the concept that this novel bases itself around. That’s really the only way I can see Franco attaching himself to a project such as this.
Continuing on my speculation of The Game mocking its source material rather than a direct adaptation, my only fear is young men will misinterpret a satirical look at the PUA lifestyle in the same way countless have misinterpreted Fight Club. I guess we’ll find out soon enough, as the film is set to begin production next year.