The New York Times online produced a series of fourteen actors reproducing "classic screen types." You can decide what you think (if anything) is compelling about James Franco's flirtation with himself. Tilda Swinton's sobbing is striking but, like many of the other "types," seems melodramatic. Or perhaps it's -- in Bill Nighy's Dr Who character's words
[Van Gogh] transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before.Or perhaps it's that Franco's playing into stereotypes that Hollywood actors are so full of themselves [and so stupid] that of course they would hit on themselves in a bar.
Or, a la Katy Perry's recent video, perhaps because things like homosexuality, Narcissism, egotism, smarminess, and all their friends are acceptable as long as the individuals perpetrating them are white middle-class individuals.