Me and Orson Welles is forced with rare moments of charm

A young actor unexpectedly gets cast in an Orson Welles production

Richard Samuels (Zac Efron) happens upon The Mercury Theatre’s ragtag beginnings and worms his way into its legendary production of Julius Caesar, directed by the egomaniacal Orson Welles (Christian McKay). Directed by Richard Linklater, Me and Orson Welles has a script (by Holly Gent Palmo and Vince Palmo Jr., from a novel by Robert Kaplow) that would ace Screenwriting 101-Creating Tension, but feels uninspired on screen---having the characters constantly remind us that, “The play opens on Thursday!” at every set of wacky hijinks, is right out of the textbook. The only things that are totally unforced are Efron’s golden-boy charm and the recreations of Welles’ haunting Caesar staging.

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