Many people will think I’m either on drugs or insane when I say this, but 17 Again is a very funny movie. It’s a throwback to 90s-style films much like Paul Blart: Mall Cop is, while at the same time being the reverse of films like Big and 13 Going On 30.
Zac Efron shines as the lead in this re-coming-of-age tale about Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry, Friends) who’s sick of his adult life and wishes he had a chance to change things from the past. Enter a mysterious janitor (Conan Doyle Murray) who gives him the opportunity he’s hoped for: relive his senior year of high school and do what he can to make things right.
Thus, Mike becomes a teen again. His teen self is played with hilarious accuracy by Zac Efron. And yes, keeping with his High School Musical roots, he plays basketball and even dances briefly. Sorry girls, but he doesn’t sing in this one.
What was almost as amusing as the film were the throngs of young girls in the audience. Anytime Efron appeared on screen they would scream as if he were one of the Beatles, which in a way, to young girls today, he is.
It’s a fun, light, and entertaining film. It’s not deep and thought-provoking like Doubt, nor is it an Oscar contender like No Country for Old Men. But it is a lighthearted movie that will more than likely be #1 at the box office this weekend. If it’s not, I will be surprised.
Along with Efron and Perry, the cast includes Leslie Mann (40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up), Jim Gaffigan, Michelle Trachtenberg (Gossip Girl, Black Christmas), and Thomas Lennon (Reno: 911, Night at the Museum 2).
While there is some innuendo, the film is relatively harmless and I would consider it appropriate for most ages.
17 Again gets an A. While it’s not a new concept, it’s still a fun and entertaining film.