Release Date: April 17th, 2009
Click here for the 17 Again Trailer.
O.k. so this movie was my "guilty pleasure". Me and my girlfriend both wanted to see this movie, just not in theaters where anybody we knew could see us. So we went to one place where we were pretty sure nobody we knew would show up, the drive-in. First of all, if you haven't been to a drive in movie, I can tell you first hand that it is a wonderful experience, especially if you have a convertible like me. There is just something so peaceful about sitting under the stars with someone and watching a movie in almost solitude.
But back to the movie. In 1989, Mike O'Donnell(Zac Efron, High School Musical) was the star of the basketball team, the coolest guy in school, and had the prettiest girlfriend in school. The day of the biggest game of his career, and with a college scout in the stands offering him a full ride if he plays good enough, Mike's girlfriend Scarlet breaks the news that she is pregnant. Scarlet wants Mike to play in the game and go on to live out his life, but Mike walks off the court after Scarlet, giving up everything to be with her. 20 years later Mike(Mathew Perry) is still holding on to what could have been had he not stayed with his now wife Scarlet(Leslie Mann). Mike's life is taking a turn for the worse. Scarlet is divorcing him, his two kids disown him, he just got passed up for a promotion at work, and Mike is now staying with his best friend Ned(Thomas Lennon), a high school nerd turned techno-billionaire.
One day, when Mike is visiting his old high school and dreaming about the glory days, he is approached by an old school janitor(Brian-Doyle Murray) who asks Mike that if he wishes he could live it all over again and Mike, without hesitation, says absolutely. That night, Mike sees the old janitor atop a bridge, ready to jump. When he does, Mike rushes over to help and ends up falling into the water himself. When he wakes up and goes back to Ned's, he comes to the shocking realization that he is 17 again. With help from Ned and his vast knowledge of everything nerdy, the conclude that Mike is on a spirit path set before him by his spirit guide, the janitor.
Mike decides his mission is to go back to high school and do it all over. But when he gets there, he notices that is daughter Maggie(Michelle Trachtenberg) is going out with the schools residential psycho jock/bully Stan(Hunter Parish) and that his son, Alex(Sterling Knight) is the school punching bag instead of the popular kid Mike thought him to be. Mike now realizes that his mission isn't to relive his glory days, but to help out his family and to make a better life for them. Through his journey, Mike remembers the reason he gave everything up and realizes that which is truly important in his life.
O.k. so Zac Efron isn't the type of person I typically want to go and watch. I mean, High School Musical really isn't my cup of tea. But whenever I saw the previews for this movie, I couldn't help but laugh. So I moved past my embarrassment of seeing a Zac Efron movie and bought a ticket and I wasn't completely disappointed. The story isn't really that original. A person going back in time or something of that nature to get a second chance or to come across some great moment of self discovery has been done before. This one was a little different with the main character traveling back time in physical appearance only.
When I first saw the previews for this movie I thought it looked pretty funny. Mathew Perry has always been a decent comedian, however he didn't have a primary role in the movie, just small parts in the beginning and the end of the movie. Zac Efron was the main focus of the movie and, in turn, had to handle most of the comedic pressures and he handled it fairly well. However, most of the comedy came from Thomas Lennon, who played Efron's best friend Ned. Lennon's character was the typical nerd who played dungeons and dragons, was bullied in high school, and grew up to be a billionaire. Even at the age of 37, Ned's house is packed full of geeky merchandise from wall to wall. It was his character that was primarily funny. His funniest moments were the ones where he unsuccessfully attempted to woo the principal of Mike's high school, Principal Masterson(Melora Hardin).
The movie was decent in it's own right. It was a good family movie, but some of the language used isn't recommended for audiences too young. Efron did good despite his only acting experience comes from High school Musical(sorry I just can't stand that movie). He showed that he can handle the big screen and by the way he performed, I can see him having a good future in acting. I want to see him take on a serious role for his next film and get out of the teenie-bop movies because I think he can handle it. I liked this movie. I was, on the other hand, expecting it to be funnier than it actually was but I did get some pretty good laughs out of it. The movie also had some pretty good life lessons in it which could give people a new respect for issues in life.
Overall, a good comedy with better than average acting and a semi-original plot. I give 17 Again 6 37 year old teens out of 10.
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