From the moment High School Musical got as popular as Frozen, we knew that Zac Efron would be some kind of star. Sure, he had the stereotypical 'pretty boy' face and body, but deep down, there were some acting chops somewhere. However, he has been utterly wasting them on the same role: the typical, crude frat boy.
Efron has proved he can do dramas well with Charlie St. Cloud and The Lucky One, but now it seems that he spends more time doing squats than looking for the perfect part. After seeing the trailer for his new film, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, I asked myself if this was a sequel to Dirty Grandpa – another dirty comedy he released not even a month ago.
I have to hand it to his agent, they really know how to market Mr. Efron and what sort of films he should be in. At 27 years old, he’s still able to swoon the ladies with that big-shot attitude, but what will happen once age catches up with him and he can't play the frat boy anymore?
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is about two brothers (Efron and Adam Devine) who are pressured to find dates to their sister’s wedding because they cause too much of ruckus while together. They find potentials in Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Anna (Anna Kendrick), but don’t know that they’re secretly in it for the free vacation. First off, the plot already sounds unrealistic because there’s no way Efron needs to spend 90 minutes trying to find a date. He just needs to walk outside and he’ll find plenty of women (and men) who would love to go out with him for a day. And secondly, just why? Looking over his filmography, he has played the same character over and over to a T.
However, if you look at his smaller films like Me And Orson Welles, you see that he does indeed have it in him. Heck, even his portrayal of Link Larkin in Hairspray was a dramatic improvement because it showed that he could actually sing and act in something that wasn’t a cheesy Disney Channel movie.
Looking at his future films, it seems that there won’t be a change anytime soon. He’ll also be starring in Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising and a Baywatch adaptation. The latter seems to explain the constant need to workout (though it’s not like Efron was ever hideous without a shirt on). However, I think the time has come for his “McConaissance”. The term comes from Matthew McConaughey's recent emergence as a serious actor.
Like Efron, he was a sex symbol who was famous for his hot bod and southern twang. But after getting serious roles in True Detective and The Dallas Buyers Club, people started taking him seriously. He even won an Oscar against Leonardo DiCaprio - and that’s when you know that you’re doing something right. Efron has the potential to be looked by the Academy too. He just has to expand his scope beyond crude comedies that star Dave Franco. Later this year, he will be co-starring in The Disaster Artist—a retelling of the making of Tommy Wiseau’s The Room. Regardless of whether the film is good or not, that will be another opportunity for him to showcase his dramatic talents.
With that being said, deep down under those abs, Efron has what it takes to be taken seriously. He just needs to find a role that is challenging and different. In other words, get your shit together, Efron.