"Me and Orson Welles" is a frothy backstage pass, courtesy of director Richard Linklater, to the early days of the great director (that would be Welles) during a stint as the mercurial head of the Mercury Theater Company in 1937.
Adapted from Robert Kaplow's novel, the "Me" is a teenager whose coming-of-age story unfolds during the staging of Welles' groundbreaking reimagining of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar as a '30s-era Fascist dictator. The teen in question is Richard Samuels, played by "High School Musical" heartthrob Zac Efron, a senior who slips out of class and into NYC only to get swept up in Welles' retinue, with a small part tossed his way as a bone.
The film's other key players are Claire Danes as the director's whip-smart assistant and sometime lover Sonja; Christian McKay as Welles, who bears a striking resemblance to the man and has a good handle on his pretension and ambition; and Zoe Kazan as Gretta Adler, an aspiring writer and the occasional object of young Richard's affection when he's not mooning over Sonja.
Richard's problem is really Efron's problem too, and thus the film's (which may be why it stumbled around the festival circuit for nearly a year before finding a distributor). The character spends most of the movie trailing Welles around like a puppy, only occasionally biting the hand that feeds him. The role was supposed to mark Efron as a grown-up actor and while he's pleasant enough he remains very much in the puppy-training phase, with Danes and McKay holding on to most of the movie's treats.