Reviewed by: Katie Thomas
What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer
|Featuring:||Zac Efron (Richard Samuels), Claire Danes (Sonja Jones), Christian McKay (Orson Welles), Ben Chaplin (George Coulouris), Zoe Kazan, Eddie Marsan, Kelly Reilly, James Tupper, Leo Bill, Al Weaver, Iain McKee, Simon Lee Phillips, Simon Nehan, Imogen Poots, Patrick Kennedy, Janie Dee, Marlene Sidaway, Garrick Hagon, Megan Maczko, Aaron Brown, Travis Oliver, Nathan Osgood, Robert Wilfort, Michael Brandon, Saskia Reeves, Aidan McArdle, Michael J. McEvoy, Thomas Arnold, Jo McInnes, Daniel Tuite, Emily Allen, Eddi Reader, Jools Holland, Steven Parry, David Garbutt|
|Producer:||CinemaNX, Cinetic Media, Detour Filmproduction, Framestore, Fuzzy Bunny Films, Hart-Lunsford Pictures, Isle of Man Film Commission, Ann Carli, Steve Christian, Holly Gent Palmo, Richard Hewitt, Sara Greene, Richard Linklater, Steve Norris, Vincent Palmo Jr., Jessica Parker, Marc Samuelson, John Sloss|
“All’s fair in love and theater”
This film is an adaptation of Robert Kaplow’s 1930s-era coming-of-age novel.
There is no other way to describe “Me and Orson Welles” than it being a nice film; the kind you see on a relaxing weekend afternoon.
Set in 1937, it follows the story of seventeen-year-old Richard (Zac Efron), a young actor looking to enjoy life and pursue his passion for acting. While walking the streets of New York, he happens upon the famous actor Orson Welles (Christian McKay) outside of the Mercury Theatre and lands a role in the production of “Cesar.” During the production, Richard falls for Sonja (Claire Danes) who works at the Theatre, makes a few friends, and in discovering what Orson and show business is all about, he questions if this is really all it’s cracked up to be.
There was nothing oh-so-special about the film. It was cheery, entertaining, and just nice, but that was all. Any heart or moral issues brought up were either excused, or simply set aside, leaving viewers with a nice, little smile and seven less dollars in your pocket.
There could have been a little more plot towards the beginning. It felt like the characters were almost slaves to the plot, which was merely a montage of rehearsals, in a sense. Conflict finally arose an hour or more into it, at which point, I wondered if there would actually be any.
The worst thing about the film is a scene, though no nudity of any kind is shown, implying Richard sleeps with Sonja, fulfilling the bet he made with other members of the play to see who could “get in her pants” first. She later spends the night with Orson and shows no regret. It is interesting to see that if she had been portrayed as anything but smart, spunky, and sweet, this character would be dismissed as a common, loose woman. Along with being the main instigator of drama, Orson is, also, the main origin of profanity, using it so loosely it feels like another part of his speech pattern. There are about 34 uses throughout the film, including the s-word, d-word, SOB, a-word, hell, and various uses of the Lord’s name in vain. Richard also gives a cast mate the finger.
Overall, the film is quaint and charming, and may be especially enjoyable for Orson Welles fans, or those involved in Theatre. However, keep in mind my cautions about the moral standings of the characters.