Ok, So I did not go see this film by my own free will, I promised a friend to see it- in exchange he has to see the upcoming film "The Proposal" with me. My friend is a gay 22 year old who calls Zac Efron his bf - so he was super thrilled to see it, me -not so much...HOWEVER, it wasn't all bad. I KNOW! I can't believe I am saying that either...
Here are reasons why it was acceptable -
1. The supporting actors, especially Thomas Lennon - Best known as Lieutenant Jim Dangle on Reno 911, Thomas Lennon is the best part of this film. He is brilliant as the high school nerd turned multi-millionaire nerd. His wooing of the high school principle (played brilliantly by Melora Hardin- a.k.a Jan from The Office) should have been the main plot of the film. Other supporting actors include the enchanting Leslie Mann and the adorable Hunter Parrish (ok maybe not in this film - he looks a little like a heroin addict, but he is ubur-adorable on my favorite show Weeds). Parrish goes against type by playing the high school bully - completely unlikeable and he accomplishes the task beautifully. He deserves much more credit than Zac in my opinion. He is on a critically acclaimed show and he has Broadway experience (recently in the Tony Award winning Spring Awakening). Rumored to have been considered for the HSM films, I think Hunter is doing just fine, far better than Zac.
2. Zac Efron wasn't horrible - I've seen the first 2 High School Musicals and Hairspray so when I make fun of Zac as having no talent, I am not just assuming it - I have seen his no talent acting for myself. Yet, this film he has improved. He proves to be charming and funny- he might even be cute if he cut his hair.
3. Refreshingly family friendly - I haven't seen a film that I would want my non-existent children to see in a long time. This film has great morals, teaches a great lesson to both children and adults but doesn't seem overly preachy, and it's adorably funny. It reminds me of the days of Full House.
4. Actually Laugh-out-loud funny - ok...I was laughing in the beginning but not because it was funny, but because it was ridiculous. But then it got actually funny. I was pretty impressed. My favorite line - "I think our hands just made a baby". I almost peed my pants.
And here are reasons why it was completely ridiculous -
1. The plot - They didn't even try to explain it or make it realistic at all. He literally just falls into some water and wakes up 17 years old in order to follow his spiritual guide by reliving the moment that changed his life forever. Will he make the same choices? As if we don't already know the answer within the first 30 minutes of the film.
2. Zac Efron wasn't good - His performance can be summed up by Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly - "The result is a slack do-over fantasy in which Zac Efron, as a basketball star, looks baffled as to why he hasn't been asked to sing and dance". Only he did dance in the beginning- it was not good. He definitely has the "popular basketball star that can do it all" role down to perfection, but when any emotional depth was involved Efron looks like a blank slate.
3. Poor Matthew Perry - I truly feel bad for him.