Review: 17 Again (2009) PG-13

Posted on July 27, 2010

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17againpic1 Ever wish you had a shot to go back to high school and make your life turn out the way it should have been? Well, you can in the romantic comedy-drama 17 Again. Set in 1989 and also present day. Zach Efron is teenage Mike O’Donnell. The adult Scarlett O’Donnell is played by Leslie Mann. Matthew Perry of Friends fame plays the adult Mike O’Donnell who is best friends with Ned Gold played by Thomas Lennon. Rounding out the main cast is Sterling Knight as Alex O’Donnell and Michelle Trachtenberg as Maggie O’Donnell.

The movie begins in 1989 as the teenage Mike O’Donnell is a star basketball player for Hayden High School. Before the championship basketball game teenage Scarlett tells Mike that she is pregnant. Mike decides to leave the game and his chance at a college scholarship to be with Scarlett. Fast forward 20 years and Mike is on the verge of divorce and about to lose his job which forces him to move in with his now wealthy, geeky best friend from high school Ned. With nothing else going right Mike decides to re-visit the glory days by going back to Hayden High. While there he meets a janitor that asks him if he could go back and relive his life, would he. He says he would and he is transformed back to his 17 year old self. With his wish granted will Mike make things right this time around or will his life turn out the same?

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the acting in this film. I had never watched Zach Efron act in anything prior to this movie but he actually held his own. What doesn’t surprise me anymore is the quality performance turned in by Leslie Mann. I enjoy her work in just about every movie I’ve seen her in. Thomas Lennon stole many of the scenes and delivers some great comedic dialogue. Matthew Perry is really good at playing the down on his luck, can’t buy a win character.

While not breaking any new ground I think this film will appeal to movie fans who are looking for a light comedy-drama that will garner a few laughs as well as feel heartwarming. While watching I immediately thought it contained elements of the movies Big and Back to the Future. 17 Again is no Oscar winner but enjoyable non the less.

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Posted in: Movie Reviews