I wanted to like both James France and Anne Hathaway; I really did. I was all for wanting the 83rd Academy Awards to not only look young, but also feel young. I was serious, until it became painfully clear way too early that it was all going to be very trying. “It’s the young and hip Oscars, ” Ms Hathaway yelped, but having two youthful stars host the show did not guarantee a program that would appeal to the YouTube tribe. And if you had to remind the audience that you were “young and hip”, you were not.
The two stars were obviously lacking in chemistry, but must they make up for the deficiency by cross-dressing, in the tradition of bad Thai sitcoms, to bring on the laughs? James Franco claimed that he put on a dress because his co-host “got to wear a tuxedo”. Could there be a lamer excuse? In a suit, James was already wooden and awkward. Could he have done better in a strapless dress? He was as compelling to watch as the rock that got him trapped under a boulder in 127 Hours! If you wanted to impersonate Marilyn Monroe (or Madonna mimicking her), at least try to look beautiful.
Mr Franco should have heeded Lady Gaga’s advice. While it was not quite the stuff of The King’s Speech, it did contain a vestige of truth: “don’t be a drag, be a queen”!