With Zac Efron using his good looks to try and carry “The Lucky One” earlier this year, the actor has been keen to take some risks as well. He got peed on by Nicole Kidman in “The Paperboy,” which premiered at Cannes to some savage reviews, and earned more ink for its camp factor than anything else. But this week, the actor steps into the festival spotlight again with Ramin Bahrani‘s “At Any Price,” which just premiered in Venice, heads to Telluride this weekend and plays TIFF next, and critiques on his turn are still pouring in. But from our writer in Venice, he said, “Efron starts strongly, very reminiscent of twenty-something Tom Cruise somehow (maybe it was just the race driver uniform), but the strain sometimes shows as his character moves into self-destructive inarticulacy.” Hmm. Maybe this next gig will be a bit less taxing.
Efron has signed on to star in “Are We Officially Dating?,” which as you might have guessed, is a romantic comedy. The Black List script penned by Tom Gormican (a producer on the upcoming comedy omnibus “Movie 43“), brings together a fairly standard premise, with three buds in New York City who vow to stay single, but each wind up falling in love.
This one has a full head of steam behind it with production gearing up to take place in Manhattan this fall. We suppose it’s a chance for Efron to show his comic chops in a movie that isn’t “17 Again” or “New Year’s Eve,” so we’ll be curious to see how it develops. And you gotta kinda admire Efron for trying on as many different he projects as he can when he could easily coast on lesser fare. [Deadline]