Well This Trailer Is... Awkwardly Timed

by Alanna Bennett

In Palo Alto, James Franco strikes up a student-teacher affair with Emma Roberts. And it's just as laden with whispered come-ons and suggestive lean-ins as you'd expect. And now that the first Palo Alto trailer's out, you can witness it for yourself.

Palo Alto's directed by Gia Coppola (yes, of those Coppolas) and adapted from a book of short stories by James Franco. From the book's synopsis:

Written with an immediate sense of place--claustrophobic and ominous--James Franco's collection traces the lives of an extended group of teenagers as they experiment with vices of all kinds, struggle with their families and one another, and succumb to self-destructive, often heartless nihilism. In "Lockheed" a young woman's summer — spent working a dull internship — is suddenly upended by a spectacular incident of violence at a house party. In "American History" a high school freshman attempts to impress a girl during a classroom skit with a realistic portrayal of a slave owner — only to have his feigned bigotry avenged. In "I Could Kill Someone," a lonely teenager buys a gun with the aim of killing his high school tormentor, but begins to wonder about his bully's own inner life.

These linked stories, stark, vivid, and disturbing, are a compelling portrait of lives on the rough fringes of youth.

The Franco/Roberts affair is one of several stories in the film, but it's just, well, a little awkward considering Franco's alleged recent attempts to hook up with a 17-year-old fan.

It could be argued, given that this is James Franco we're talking about, that the latter incident was some sort of marketing stunt/performance piece. But we're betting it's just exceedingly awkward timing.

Image: RabbitBandini Productions