17 Again (2009)

You know if I was seventeen and looked liek Zac Efron, I would go back too.

On the brink of a midlife crisis, 30-something Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) wishes he could have a “do-over.” And that’s exactly what he gets when he wakes up one morning to find he’s 17 years old again. With his adult mind stuck inside the body of a teenager (Zac Efron), Mike actually has the chance to reverse some decisions he wishes he’d never made. But maybe they weren’t so bad after all.

Basically just imagine this movie as Big, but backwards. And instead of silly Tom Hanks, you have teen sex appeal god, Zac Efron. Big Difference.

The film uses an overly used premise and I can’t quite say that it hits the money in originality. The high school that Efron attended was filled with all the usual stereotypes you could imagine: the sluts, the geeks, and of course the jocks. The film tries to be like many other teen vehicles like Freaky Friday, Mean Girls, or even Hannah Montana for that matter.

There is also a huge sense of creepiness in this movie. So many times when Efron and his wife Leslie Mann were on screen together and everything was just so creepy and weird that it was so hard to believe. Things got even weirder with his daughter, and although they handle the material with ease it is still a bit weird.

The film though does have some clever writing. There were some moments where the film had me laughing a lot more than I expected, and actually had me caring for the characters also more than I was expecting. The movie handles its material with nice and kind sweetness, and doesn’t over-shower it with too many sexual jokes, if any at all.

This is Efron’s first role to branch out of The High School Musical role, and to say the least he does a good job with it. He has a lot of charm and enthusiasm, and actually shows that he will be able to have a long career with the right film choices. Tom Lennon does have some good moments as his zany nerd, but sometimes I felt like he gets over-used and should have been played once and awhile.

Consensus: Though its uses an over-familiar plot and doesn’t bring much new to the screen, 17 Again is a sweet teen comedy, backed by a energetic and charming performance from Efron.


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