Zac Efron shines for the Z Girls

Posted on June 18, 2010

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This week was the launch of the Maui Film Fest, which I had never attended. I’m usually in California at this time of the year, so I really never paid much attention. However, when I heard that Zac Efron was receiving the Shining Star award on opening night (June 16), I knew that I had to take my 10-year-old daughter Zofia to the festivities.

I had tried to line-up an interview with Efron — hoping to pull back some of his teeny-bob persona and reveal that he was worthy of the honor. Yes, he is best known as the guy from the “High School Musical” movies, but I respect the organizers of the film fest enough to take a second look at some of the other movies he has done.

Being the parent of a tween, I had seen all the “HSM” films, as well as “Hairspray” and “17 Again.” I unfortunately had not seen 2008’s “Me and Orson Wells,” and I couldn’t find a copy of it at Borders before the festival; I had hoped to find some concrete support for my thesis: Zac Efron is deserving of an acting award.

I didn’t get the interview, so I ended up taking Zofia for a girls night on the town — dinner with a view at Gannon’s followed by The Z Man. Z3 in the house.

It is very understandable why the girls go crazy for Zac. He is a beautiful young man; he’s 22. His blue eyes sparkled as bright as the Maui stars above Wailea. πŸ˜‰ Want some wine with that cheese, Zan?

I’m not certain if Zac’s transition from teen-idol to adult actor will be smooth– or soon — but I do know that one scene from “17 Again” in the reel that preceded the awards presentation literally brought a tear to my eye.

Zac co-stars with Amanda Crew, Ray Liotta and Kim Basinger in the upcoming film “Charlie St. Cloud.” The movie is a romantic drama about a young man overcome by grief at the death of his younger brother. It seems like the movie has the potential to help Efron be taken more seriously as an actor as he fights the curse of being beautiful and loved by all the young girls.

I was a little disappointed that the audience at the Shining Star awards presentation welcomed Efron with a lukewarm response — except the young girls, who sufficiently screamed with glee. Despite that he’s best known for his tween-appeal, one would think Maui would step up with a bit more Aloha.

Seriously, Maui Film Fest organizers go to a lot of trouble to present this great event. Let us keep an open mind and not dismiss the talent of a young actor just because he’s best known for Disney-type roles. He may have his “Pulp Fiction” moment any day now.

Or not.

For another perspective on Island life and the Maui entertainment scene, check out my Rhythm & Views blog, which is featured on the Maui No Ka Oi Magazine website.

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