If you’re struggling with your history homework, you’re in luck: James Franco is here to give you step-by-step instructions on how to make it work.
In an exclusive clip from “Palo Alto,” Franco brings his real-life professorial skills to good use in a tutoring session with a student played by Emma Roberts. Franco’s character, Mr. B, tells Roberts’ character, April, how to write a history paper with these easy steps:
Step 1: Turn off your cell phone.
Step 2: Choose your historical event.
Step 3: Explain why it happened.
Step 4: There is no step four.
Easy enough, right? But there’s a flaw in Mr. B’s system, according to April: “What if I don’t think there’s a reason for something happening? I do things all of the time for no reason.”
“That’s because you’re young and you don’t know why you do things,” Mr. B answers, “but there’s always a reason.”
April still doesn’t buy it. “If you wanted to,” she posits, “couldn’t you say that everything that’s ever happened is because of one thing that happened at the very, very beginning of time?”
“Yeah,” replies Mr. B, “if you want to be a smart-ass.”
Apparently, Mr. B likes smart-asses, as he adds a bonus-step to his list of instructions. Watch the clip and see that step in action for yourself.
“Palo Alto,” based on a collection of short stories written by Franco, is directed by Gia Coppola and stars Franco, Roberts, Chris Messina and Val Kilmer.