The good thing about Hollywood is that you are defined by a lot of things other than your looks.
For the males, one need not to own a set of James Dean eyes to prosper. You can own a dad bod and put all the washboard abs to shame if you’ve starred in a roster of movies that make people say “We need to watch this in the cinema!” rather than “Download ko na lang may 1080p na n’yan.”
For example, celebrities like Steve Buscemi and Jack Nicholson are not necessarily panty droppers, but they can make you pee in your underwear, by all the wrong reasons. Samuel Jackson cannot move his pectoral muscles, but he can make you tingle by reciting a litany of curses. Younger specimens, perhaps? There’s Jesse Eisenberg using his blabbering mouth as a source of strength. John Levitt Gordon is not the type to make you swoon, but you wouldn’t want anyone to date Summer in that indie romantic film. Mike Myers isn’t exactly stunning, but have you seen Whiplash?
In some cases, though, like the case of Zachary David Alexander Efron, this rule has become more complex than ever. While some succeed despite their face’s refusal to conform to Western standards of beauty, Zac tries to succeed despite perfecting the checklist. He’s good-looking, he knows how to act. So what’s the problem?
Let’s break down this teen-idol-turned-Abercrombie-god’s filmography:
In High School Musical, boy toy named Troy gets his first big break in a mainstream musical under Disney. Zac shows he has the recipe to make it — he can sing, he can dance, he can act. At 17 with a weird haircut, he still looks stunning. This, later on, became a popular trilogy among teens with cable TVs. Zac eventually gets to star in the Hairspray remake where he once again, sings.
Disney protégés often break loose from the image of goody-two-shoes and bring their own sass to the table, but thank God Zac has some good sense. He went on to star in 17 Again where he rocked a less disheveled, less fringed, long hair and went on to be another college hero (the slow-motion-of-the-winning-shot-getting-inside-the-bucket scene, of course). He does this while simultaneously falling in love with an older woman, which he was able to pull off. There’s also Me and Orson Welles, a movie that showcased his acting and garnered positive response, but just didn’t get enough audience traction.
He tried his hand into more drama films, like Charlie St. Cloud and for the love of anything that is cheesy and pure corn, a movie adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks book – The Lucky One. The speed and precision of the kind of puberty that hit Zac propelled his career into dating MILFs in movies, but he failed to no avail. The Paperboy had an impressive cast, but was just poorly made and executed. At least, he was able to dance in the rain and be held by Nicole Kidman.
That Awkward Moment was Zac’s first film that delved into modern relationships (we’re not counting New Year’s Eve because he shared too much screen time with a lot more celebrities although technically, he did star in it) or just modern culture, in general. It played along the lines of one-night stands and the fast-paced communication by texting and chatting but it didn’t really break ground.
Maybe this is when the people around him started to suggest that Zac should turn things around. Maybe, just maybe, it’s time that he try his hands on something less serious. Let’s see about that.
We Are YourFriends.
Let’s just stop right there for a moment. You know how when you like someone that’s way out of your league and you confess this horrible dilemma to your friends, they just laugh boisterously in your face? That’s Zac. He’s too pretty that he becomes unrelatable. He’s inauthentic. Unreachable. He stays and sags in the realm of comedy because no one can take a face that perfect seriously. That body is meant to be exposed all the time. Unless he attempts really hard not to look hot, MAYBE people can give him more credit.
This is the curse of Zachary Efron: You are stereotyped to star in dumb-fun movies because your face is meant to play the roles of douchebags and DJs. You are too pretty to play the role of a normal human being because your blue eyes and your broad back say otherwise. You are expected to drink volumes of alcohol and do an orgy of drugs inside your mouth because that’s what hot, young people do. That’s just the norm. That’s the kind of reality you are subjected to. You are YOLO itself in all its glorious forms.
The industry cannot really give Zac a good role because he’s Zac. He himself has succumbed to this version of truth that he finally relents into this smorgasbord of spring break scenes: dancing almost naked, peeing into a position that accentuates his butt, smoking crack, chugging beers, selling dildos the shape of his own cock.
Let’s face it. No amount of abs can save Zac Efron from the shame brought by his movies that most often than not nose-dive into the abyss of low ratings and low profits. As much as I love staring into Zac Efron’s body doing stuff, it is enough.
I appeal to the handlers of Zac Efron that he gets out of this phase as soon as possible. I adore him so much that I care deeply about the slope of his career. The world deserves better. The world needs Zac Efron in a movie worthy of acclaim. We need a substantial Zac. I NEED A SUBSTANTIAL ZAC.
(Or should we wait until he’s getting old and gracefully aging like Jon Hamm and George Clooney? A shot to be the next Gabriel Macht, maybe? No? Not really? sighhhhs)