Medication Needed (Movie Thoughts; The Adderall Diaries)

indexOne would need an Adderall to get through “The Adderall Diaries,” which is James Franco’s artistic masturbatory project. This is a film so self-indulgent, so trying hard to be artistisc, and so disjointed that I scratch my head how it got financed, filmed, and even attracted a more-than-decent cast. Perhaps it is because it is based on a revered book (Stephen’s Elliot’s tome of the same title, though I read he is disowning the film) But here it is, a mish mash of so many things and none of the elements hit.  Directed by Pamela Rowanowsky (I read she was a classmate of Franco’s in Film School ) this movie is part exploration of a tortured writer. He is tortured in so many ways: he had a difficult childhood with a volatile relationship with his father, and he is also tortured because his addiction to Adderall gives him writer’s block, and he cant express his brilliance. The book is also part cute meets BDSM love story between Stephen (Franco) and a New York Times reporter (Amber Heard)  though that development comes out of nowhere, and again, the BDSM scenes are laughable – you just don’t believe it. Then Stephen gets fascinated with a high profile murder case (He compares himself to Truman Capote – there’s that James Franco gay-baiting again) and again, you don’t believe it – you also wonder how can he can gain access to the suspect when this is such a celebrated case. I do think Franco is a good actor, and honestly, that i the only redeeming value of the movie.  He is still charming and has a magnetic screen presence here. But, there is only so much that can do. This movie is a hot mess.

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