|Week 10: 17 Again
||[Apr. 7th, 2009|04:37 pm]
The Independent Film Forum
Zac Efron is the latest pin-up boy from Hollywood. But do you honestly think he has what it really takes to be the next Leonardo DiCaprio? The next film up for discussion in The Independent Film Forum is 17 Again. Is 17 Again a step-up or a step-down for director Burr Steers, whose last film was the indy hit, Igby Goes Down in 2002?
Add your comments below and we’ll print the best in next Wednesday's paper.
Here's a trailer:
What did you think? Time to have your say...
A magical, life-inspiring janitor from Bruce Almighty persuades a disillusioned father/husband on a bridge in It's A Wonderful Life to change events from his past in The Butterfly Effect, and to engage in ensemble basketball dances in High School Musical.
Interesting to see Burr Steers who made the excellent Igby Goes Down directed this (or is it sad?). Bit of a change of pace - maybe he's trying to raise money for some more interesting efforts or just needs to put the kids through college!
The film was ok, it passes the time but honestly it's not really aimed at people like me. It's a vehicle for people who love Zac Efron - that seems to be mainly 13 year old girls. I had not even heard of High School Musical until recently. Efron is fine - he's watchable and has decent presence, but I don't think he has the acting chops of Leonardo diCaprio or the star qualtiy of Tom Cruise.
He'll have to do something more daring to make the leap from films aimed at tweens - which presumably he'll want to so soon. Maybe Burr Steers could make another indie ensemble type movie with Zac attempting some character acting?
17 Again is like "Big" in reverse but without any of the joy, inventiveness and memorable scenes that a good teen/family movie should and that "Big" had. Zac Efron doesn't have the leading man qualities of Leonardo di Caprio, moreover, he certainly doesn't have the everyman qualities of Tom Hanks.
Cut me and I bleed...cheese. This was my first thought when I saw Zac Efron - so perfect - surely it must hurt? Then, once I realised that my femininity could withstand the voltage of the blue shards of ice and fire that pass for his eyes, I was able to focus on his acting and he does quite well in this comedy. '17 Again' is about a grown up who loses his family because he forgets what is important to him. By a strange quirk of fate, he is able to go back to being 17 again, where his adult self can change the choice he made (of marrying his pregnant girlfriend) and instead, pursue the basketball career that he felt he had missed out on; only then is he able to appreciate what he has. Altogether now "Aaaaahhh".
The film is very funny and touching and Zac is clearly able to do both well; his comic timing is good but I think it is wrong to compare him to Leo DiCaprio. By the time Leo was Zac's age, he had been nominated twice for two very challenging roles. In 'What's Eating Gilbert Grape' he plays 'Arnie', a pre-pubescent boy with special needs who eclipsed Johny Depp which is no mean feat. He also played the troubled son in 'This Boy's Life' whose intense relationship with his lonely mother and her brutish boyfriend is convincing and powerful. He is not out of place alongside the two Hollywood heavyweights who play the adults; Ellen Barkin and Robert De Niro. So, Leo has chosen roles that stretched him from an early age; Zac has played an autistc boy in a US series but he is quite lacklustre if you compare him to Leo. Zac is now known and perhaps typecast already as a heartthrob; he will have to choose much grittier roles if he is to show us something with depth.
Before Leo finally met with his testosterone, he was a sweet skinny vulnerable-looking kid with a unique urchin appeal and it was exploited brilliantly by the character 'Jack Dawson' in 'Titanic' whereas, Zac is more of a David Cassidy of our times or a new Rob Lowe - super smooth and super aware of it - with perfect hair and a Hollywood smile. He is skinny like Leo but it is contrived -his upper body is pumped whereas Leo (pre-Blood Diamond) looked like he didn't know - and more importantly didn't care - what a gym was. I can smell Zac's cheddar gorgeousness from England. If he wants to be a character actor and follow in the footsteps of Leo DiCaprio or his idol, Johny Depp, he may have to cancel the facials, the fake tan and the meticulous attention of his stylist and embrace the dark side but he can't do much with his beauty queen eyes - they had me at hello.
It's very obviously aimed at Zac's teens and tweens but there is enough here to amuse anyone older than that. Not bad at all.
Zac Efron stared in a comical film as a 17 year old boy. In this film you don't see him singing or dancing as in High School Musical but his superb acting skills. When you see this movie you have all the emotions from humorous to romance to miserable. The film had allot of morals such as have sex after you finished collage and got married. This film is targeted at teenagers but adults would find it comical too. This film had terrific casting Zac Efron and Matthew Perry. Unique storyline 37 year old loser who turns into a 17 year old hottie. I do hope people would agree with me that this film is truly amazing.