Genres: Comedy, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Teen
Running Time:1 hr. 42 min.
Release Date: April 17th, 2009 (wide)
MPAA Rating:PG-13 for language, some sexual material and teen partying.
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
Directed by: Burr Steers
JJ Rating: A+
This movie has Zac Efron in it, what more could you want? Kidding. It’s about Mike O’Donnell (Older: Matthew Perry; younger: Zac Efron) and how his life is falling apart. He wishes that he could do it all over again. So this Santa Clause looking old man smiles and that’s what happens, he goes back to being 17…again. 17 Again.
Me enjoying this film is mainly me enjoying this film. There are flaws, but I enjoyed the over all picture and therefore gave it the highest grade I could. I say this because I realize that I am one of the few critics that actually really liked it and that could be because I like High School Musical, I don’t know. But many critics did not like it and that is in direct contradiction with the public via Yahoo reviewers who give it a sturdy A-.
You should know if you like this film or not based on the way you reacted to the trailer. When I first saw the trailer I really wanted to see the film. I have seen Zac Efron in Hairspray and HSM Trilogy as well as heard him on SNL, and from all that I gathered he was a pretty good actor. Seeing 17 Again solidified that. He is very talented in a very refreshing way like Andy Roddick was for tennis. He was supposed to play a 40 year old man in a 17 year old’s body and I think he pulled that off very well. He was a complete dork at times. He was the star of the film and he, rightfully so, made the film work. His role was the corner stone of the entire film and had he failed at his job then the entire film would become a mess, but he did not. He succeeded and made an over done idea awesome and fresh. And of course that could not have been totally done without the good script, the director Burr Steers and the remaining cast. Efron was just really great at his role and made me feel he was holding the entire movie on his shoulders.
The rest of the cast were great with playing opposite Zac Efron. The two that really stood out were Thomas Lennon (who played Ned the best friend of Mike) and Leslie Mann (who played Scarlet the wife of Mike). Mann’s scene with Efron where she suggests he looks just like her husband was one of my favorites in the trailer and is one of my favorites from the film. The scenes where it is Lennon vs. Melora Hardin (Principal Jane Masterson) were funny. It was like she was the prey and he was the naughty kitty pawing her until she gives in. Ned’s house was like a shrine to massive geekness. Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, comic books from here until eternity. It was also a playground of things children, and teens who act like children, would like to have gotten their hands on. One of the things that make the film so great is Zac Efron’s facial expressions. They’re just quirky enough to get the right feel for the line that comes out of his mouth and makes the scene funnier. Zac’s got talent. Well not only in acting but in basketball seeing how it is another film where he plays a teen that is good at it…again.
17 Again’s story was good. It pointed out that adults get out of touch and would it not be nice to be able to go back and be a teen just to reconnect with lost interests as well as your teenage children who are not paying attention to you any more? Mike went to school in the 90’s and his kids are in high school during the 2000’s and it points out the massive differences. Now they have cell phones that text and take video so that the world can see someone’s lost fight on YouTube in an instant. It’s turned teens into mini-celebrities who have to watch out or their one bad night might turn into an ‘everyone knows about night the world over’. It’s more stressful than it was in the past and again technology doesn’t make it better, it makes it worse.
17 Again has heart and it has the up and coming star Zac Efron who will, eventually, wow everyone with a part that will get him an Oscar nod. I looked forward to this film and when it was all said and done I wanted to watch it again. Don’t forget, this is me liking it. I understand if I stand alone on this in the critic world. That doesn’t bother me in the least. But just so you know, I would see 17 Again again.