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17 Again

Posted by admin | Posted in Movies | Posted on 30-07-2010


If you somehow had the chance, would you do your life over? Thirtysomething Mike O’Donnell would. Then one mysteriously magical moment, Mike gets his chance. He’s suddenly back at Hayden High where he’s the star of the basketball team, a total hottie, and a classmate to his own teenage kids…which gives Mike a chance to go from not-so-good dad to really cool friend. Zac Efron (Hairspray, the High School Musical movies) and Matthew Perry (Friends) are 17 Again and fab… More >>

17 Again

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Comments (5)

Mike O’Donnell is the star basketball player in 1989. He has a big chance of receiving a major scholarship–this all changes the night of the game.

Twenty years later, Mike is living with his best friend Ned. His wife has filed for divorce. Mike goes to pick his children up from school and runs into a strange (mostly unexplained) janitor who asks him if he would like to be seventeen all over again.

Later that night, Mike falls into a watery vortex and is seventeen again, but he is not reliving his senior year in 1989…but right now in 2009.

The movie is a little hard to follow at times, and the ending is rushed–and some viewers will question how this resolution was reached based on a few scenes. But just go with it.

Zac Efron proves that he is more than “High School Musical” material. The young actor delivers his lines in a way that makes you believe that he is both 17 and 37.

Parents note that this movie is rated PG-13. It contains fighting, sexual references, teenage drinking, and some language.
Rating: 4 / 5

This was a pretty fun movie to watch. I like this particular type of story, so I knew going in that I’d have some fun with it.

Zac Efron is actually a decent actor, and he was far less orange in this movie than he typically is.

He had great chemistry with his costars, played the displaced middle aged guy pretty well, handled the fatherly vibe with his son and daughter in a believeable fashion.

My problems with the movie include:

1) Matthew Perry and Zac Efron look nothing alike. I’m 26 years out of high school and while I don’t look 17, I still look like my younger self.

Maybe David Cassidy should have been chosen for the older role, but then they would have had to go for a much older ‘older role’ which would have made the wife/kid attraction seriously creepy.

2) The mom hardly EVER interacted with her kids. She had some interaction/fondness for her son, but almost none with her daughter. When the daughter and mother were together in scenes it was if they didn’t know each other. The daughter is dating a very inappropriate guy who behaves abusively to the son in their own house and neither parent was aware?

Overall, fun movie to watch. Could have been far better if the writers had bothered to script a better plot. Lack of back story on the characters made it hard to really understand the wife’s rage, or the children’s complete dismissal of the father.

Rating: 3 / 5

Plot: If you’ve seen any body switch/time switch movie, you’ll be able to predict what happens down to the last scene. Maybe even if you haven’t.

10 Lessons I Learned From 17 Again

1. Scriptwriters seemed to have run out of ideas, so eighties movie plots are being recycled. I noticed this watching the trailers, too. People my age are in need of being taught life lessons that we didn’t learn the first time around, so we’re going back to the future. (Note to future directors: Stop. Stop already, please. Or if you do so, use lots of irony. Just a suggestion. “Back to the Future” had a lot of in jokes, but “17 Again” squanders many chances to be funny.)

2. If you were alive in the eighties, you’ll recognize quite a few recycled scenes including ones from “Back to the Future,” “Just One of the Guys,” and the original “17 Again.” Presumably the switch in age was so there could be a college application storyline. However, if you do the math, they’ve done some time fudging here. That’s the second thing you’ll notice. The first is the seeming miracle of Zac Efron turning into Matthew Perry.

3.Taking responsibility for one’s actions as a teen will make you extremely miserable in the future. The best thing to do is put yourself and your needs first.

4. When you’re in high school, everything seems like the end of the world. But you’re really just beginning your life. Actually, I learned this one already, but it’s a good message anyway.

5. Hitting on your friend’s mom is no longer considered cool, at least in the Disneyverse.

6. You need to keep exercising and eating right after high school, or you’ll lose your youthful physique and no longer be as attractive to the opposite sex.

7. If you go back to high school, it helps to have perfectly coiffed adorably floppy hair, nice cheekbones and unlimited access to your dad’s credit card.

8. There are at least two other options to two teens having a child of their own, but this film acts like they don’t exist.

9. Elvish can bring two unlikely souls together, one of whom keeps swearing that she’ll never date the other.

10. Beware of elderly janitors who seem to know everything about you. They may be your spirit guides. Really.

Rating: 4 / 5

There seems like so much I could say about this movie. My initial thoughts are:

-Too adult in nature for Zac Efron’s kid fans

-Has good themes and messages

-Most of the funny parts are in the previews

17 Again is one of those half and half films–half of it is good, moral, and entertaining, and half of it is raunchy, mature in nature, and unnecessary. The plot goes something like this: Middle-aged Mike is unhappy with his life and about to get a divorce from his wife. He and his kids are like strangers to each other, even though he genuinely cares for them. One night Mike mysteriously transports to the age of 17 in present times. He decides (with the help of his MAJOR sci-fi freak best friend) to go back to high school and help put his kids on the right path. So Mike (under the name of Mark) goes back to school and spends his time lecturing his kids about who they should date, helping them onto sports teams, or romancing their mom (who is also his wife).

Some of the funniest parts are the most awkward ones. Teenage Mike/Mark dancing with his wife (to his wife, he is just her son’s friend) and being found by their son. Mike/Mark’s daughter wants to start a relationship with the teenage Mike/Mark, not knowing that he is actually her dad. When he tells her that they can never be together, she at first thinks that he is gay. There is one use of the b-word and some other mild profanities. Mike/Mark’s daughter has a pompous, lustful boyfriend. Mike’s best friend is seen in bed (fully clothed) with the school principal (at the end of the film, right before the credits).

I was surprised at the amount of good messages in this movie. Mike (when he is actually 17 in high school sometime in the 1980’s) gives up his college dreams to marry his pregnant girlfriend. When he is an adult, he strives to spend time with his kids and shows genuine interest in their lives. When he goes back to the age of 17 through the warp thing, he makes it his goal to help his kids get their lives on the right track. He speaks about abstinence to the entire Health class. He does everything he can to get his daughter’s messed-up boyfriend away from her.

Without the sexual jokes and overtones, this movie would be great for kids and teens. Unfortunately, the crude humor ruins it, even if kids don’t understand all of the “jokes”. Zac Efron is at his best in this film and captures a sensible, struggling teenage dad very well. Don’t expect it to be any funnier than you see in the previews, though. Most of the funny parts are in the previews. Overall, it was an enjoyable two hours of reliving high school.
Rating: 4 / 5

I absolutely love this movie, but I am EXTREMELY disappointed with the DVD. The DVD does not include ANY bonus features on it – to get the bonus features, you have to buy the Blu-Ray version. Unfortunately, for those of us that don’t have Blu-Ray players, that doesn’t do us any good. Warner Home Video should be ashamed of themselves for selling a DVD of this type of movie without the bonus features. Maybe they get a kick-back from the Blu-Ray player manufacturers!

Rating: 1 / 5

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