I am so, so glad that Seth Rogen and James Franco put out a ridiculous spoof of Kanye West’s “Bound 2” video. Because if they hadn’t, I wouldn’t have bothered to watch the original, which … well, it features his fiancee, Kim Kardashian, topless and looking freakishly blank and kind-of accessorizing Kanye as he raps, mostly on a motorcycle, with hyperreal photo backdrops of mountains and stars and stuff. No matter what I say, it won’t take the place of watching, so let’s just do that now:
What’s amazing is that Franco and Rogen’s “spoof” is actually just a shot-for-shot remake, with Franco as Kanye and Rogen as Kim. It’s so ludicrous that it’s un-spoofable. It’s like when Saturday Night Live was basically just re-creating scenes of Sarah Palin in debates and interviews, rather than adding anything extra, because it was so hilariously unbelievable in itself. I’ll admit I checked the “spoof” out partly because I wanted to be all thinky-pop-culture critic and ponder the concept of using homoeroticism for laughs. But it turns out that, at least when I watch Franco and Rogen, the fact that they’re making out hardly makes an impression. That part feels fine; the much funnier point of the send-up is how it underlines the insanity of Kardashian’s act here. “Act” being a stretch; she’s about as active as a doll. Take away her admittedly breathtaking beauty, and she’s almost literally a blow-up doll here, especially that bizarre bit where she’s bouncing away on his motorcycle, presumably as Kanye makes sweet love to her. (Lyric at that moment: “I wanna fuck you hard on the sink/After that give you something to drink.” Good news! The sink is right there! Here’s some water, girl!) In fact, Rogen’s re-creations of Kardashian’s looks into the camera, which are quite faithful, underscores that, stripped of her sexiness, she just appears massively confused. Which we all are, really.
Let’s just say none of this is doing much to combat complaints about the massive sexism of Kanye’s latest album. But Franco and Rogen have turned it around, making homoeroticism the most normal thing in the room. Or at least the desert and the mountains and the sky. On a motorcycle.