Thursday, April 23, 2009

Graduation of Zac? -- 17 Again

I’m not a fan of HSM. The reasons that I went for this 17 Again are: first, I just got time and mood for a movie; second, someone said this was a “boy-to-man” move for Zac Efron. It was said that the young generation of male actors like Zac and Robert Pattinson are ready to take over the vacancies left behind by those “good fathers” like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. Is it?

There’s a rule for actors (and actresses actually) in Hollywood: If you rose as a teenager star, you would be somehow “lousy” for several yrs before you could get ppl to accept your acting as an adult. Many of them (actually most of them) would not make it, and just “disappeared”, or, at least, got their super-star charm faded. Some examples, Michael J. Fox from Back to the Future (OK, he got a proper reason for his disease, but even before that, he did not show any potential to be a leading figure in Hollywood’s serious movies), Mark Hamill from Star Wars IV, V & VI, etc. If you can break this curse and accomplish the task of “boy-to-man”, congrats, you will be big in this world for at least another 10 yrs.

It’s a bit early to judge if Zac has made it. After all, in this 17 Again, he appeared as a teenager. But we did see some quite promising points in him, esp. when Mike (the role of Zac) was talking as a 40-year-old father in the body of a 17-year-old boy. Sometimes, if you just close your eyes, you would confuse him with Matthew Perry (as the older Mike).

The beginning of the movie is quite bad: a routine high school basketball team and cheer leaders’ dancing in the court is nothing new to Zac, neither to the audience; the part that Mike literally “gave up” basketball when he got the news that his GF was pregnant, is too dramatic. But when the story goes on to the mid-life crisis of Mike, Matthew Perry showed some nice scenes which reminded me the happy hours we spend with Friends. The chemistry between Zac and Leslie Mann (as Mike’s GF and later wife Scarlet, the adult version) was praised by many critics, but to me that was just another proof of what a heartthrob Zac is.

And there is another teenager boy in this movie that is worth watching for, Sterling Knight, as the teenager son of Mike, Alex. Pity he got a face too similar to Alexander Ludwig (The Seeker: The Dark is Rising & Race to Witch Mountain) and Evan Ellingson (CSI: Miami). And he definitely needs some sports activities to get the “six pack” as Zac’s.

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