Director: Richard Linklater
Writers: Holly Gent Palmo & Vincent Palmo Jr.
Starring: Zac Efron, Christian McKay, Claire Danes
"Orson left just two minutes ago... he took an ambulance to beat the traffic... Well, you know, according to Orson there's no law on the books that says you have to be sick to take an ambulance. Of course, that's according to Orson, which probably means it isn't really true but it ought to be..." In 1937, Richard Samuels (Efron) is hired to play Lucias in the first Broadway adaptation of a Shakespeare play (Julius Caesar) after a chance encounter on the street with media legend Orson Welles (McKay).
There are two kinds of period pieces: ones that wholly emulate the depicted era, and those that try very very hard, but ultimately fails. This is the later. The screenplay attempts to depict the jargon of the 1930s, but ultimately comes off as rather cheesy and hackneyed. McKay does give a wonderful performance as Welles, capturing his unique sort of eccentricities just as well as Vincent D'Onofrio or Liev Schrieber, but the movie's downfall is that it ultimately, it's not really about HIM (or his odd anti-fascist interpretation of Shakespeare's play). The proper title of the film should be Me and Two Random Ladies I Want to Get With. Efron's character (who was 15 in real life, but has gone through a name change and aged three years to legality) seems to rank hooking up with one of these women over his Broadway debut directed by Orson Welles no less. Sure, Welles hadn't directed Citizen Kane at that point, but he still had a bit of a following. Linklater's made some great stuff in his career, but this sadly isn't one of them. D+