The Life Of The Party
Only Zac Efron has the knack to elevate wacky flicks into watchable stuff
If there is one actor we're all rooting for, I think it might be Zac Efron.
This is a guy who has brought a lot of joy to the world.
Young people have grown up with him since he burst on the scene with High School Musical (HSM).
Grown women have been super hot for him since he started hitting the gym, adding pounds of muscle to his tight frame.
Men like him because, in spite of his looks and fame and money, he comes across as just a regular guy, a bro.
He has universal appeal.
There is nothing to not like about him.
In fact, about the only person who doesn't seem to appreciate Efron is Efron himself.
The 28-year-old US actor is self-effacing to a fault, particularly when it comes to his career.
In fact, he seems slightly embarrassed about HSM.
When he first ventured out from the Disney Channel TV franchise into movies, he tried to tackle more serious stories, such as Me And Orson Welles, Charlie St Cloud and The Paperboy.
It never really went anywhere, so he went back to his comfort zone, playing the life of the party in comedies like Bad Neighbours, which is arguably his greatest success since HSM.
He followed up with We Are Your Friends, Dirty Grandpa, Bad Neighbours 2 and now Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates, which opens here on Sept 8.
One gets the feeling that Efron would prefer to take on more prestigious projects, but the reality is that he has found his niche in the lighter genres - comedies, rom-coms and musicals.
He elevates even the stupidest flicks, like That Awkward Moment, into something worth watching.
Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates, about a pair of hard-partying brothers who put out an online ad for dates to their sister's wedding, wouldn't be the same film without him.
His sweetness, sincerity and likeability give us something to latch on to amid all the wacky high jinks.
We invest in his character, Dave, and so we invest in the film.
Efron has a way of also making us like his co-stars.
His evident fondness for his dopey, abrasive brother Mike (Adam DeVine) rubs off on us, so we like Mike too.
Efron may not have the gravitas to carry a drama, but he somehow brings a relative weightiness to the silly stuff.
Anyway, I can't think of anything more boring than serious actors gunning for Oscars in serious films.
It actually takes a lot more charm and charisma to touch an audience in a light-hearted flick like Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates.
We just wanna be with you, dude.
Yes, that is an HSM reference, and I am unashamed.