Wednesday, June 19, 2024

“Three’s Company” Reborn as Slightly Risque Drama


It’s unclear if anyone outside of Sundance will ever see it, but James Franco debuted his “Three’s Company: The Drama” last night at the New Frontiers exhibition playing at the former Miners Hospital on Park Avenue in Park City.

This isn’t a film, but more of a video. Franco and friends got the rights to remake the first three episodes of the Seventies sitcom. Franco takes the Jack-John Ritter part. A female friend plays Janet, and a male friend with a dark beard and mustache not quite covered by a blond wig is Chrissie-Suzanne Somers.

Neighbor Larry is played by Franco’s pal Vince Jolivet with a wig. The real Larry–actor Richard Kline–was flown in and shown episode¬†1 in the art installation. He and his wife were a little taken aback at a few of the modern dialogue changes.

But most of the dialogue was right from the original show. It’s just spoken seriously, without a laugh track. “Suddenly you see how desperate the characters were,” Kline said later. The original Larry, of course, never let his genitalia become exposed, even if briefly.¬†

The videos were projected on all four white walls of a room that was barely 12 feet square. Viewers were invited to sit on the floor. Once the campy shlock value of the whole thing subsided, “Three’s Company-The Drama” actually settled down into something weirdly interesting. It was not a goof or even an homage. It was actually the freshest thing I’d seen all day after four features in a row of varying effect.

All photos c2011 Showbiz411

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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