Thursday, April 23, 2009

Movie Review: 17 Again

17 Again, starring Zac Efron and Matthew Perry as Mike O’Donnell at 17 and 37, uses conventional methods to tell a conventional story. A man, unhappy with is life, is given a chance to do it all over again and maybe make the right choices this time.

The movie unabashedly flaunts its already-been-done-to-death plot in a scene where Ned (the best friend) and Mike (recently 17 again) pour over hundreds of comic books, myths, and other literature in order to find answers for Mike’s transformation. While this scene was slightly amusing, the admission of guilt on the writers’ parts made me roll my eyes and groan.

The movie opens to a high school and a basketball court in which a game is about to take place. Gee, Zac Efron as the big shot basketball player, hum where have I seen that before… I almost thought I’d misread the theater signs and walked into High School Musical (1, 2, or 3, it really doesn’t matter).

Another thing that bothers me is: I think some people failed to do the math. The opening sequence shows Mike O’Donnell dancing to Young M C’s "Bust A Move." While the song did come out in September of 1989, Mike would have had to dance to it in early to mid year as he graduated in 1989. The song just wouldn’t be out yet.

Also, Mike learns that his girlfriend is pregnant at the beginning of the movie and twenty years later his daughter is still in high school. I’m no math genius, but 20 years minus nine months equals over 19. Hum… Sure the film’s release date was pushed back, but if it is billed as 20 years later, people will assume the movie is taking place in 2009 and dates adjusted accordingly.

I won’t even get started on the scene where 17-year-old Mike and his son have lunch on Mike’s first day of school (just watch Mr. Efron’s burger) or the other scenes that were blatantly incongruent/ lacking continuity.

With all that said, the movie does have a certain “everyone” appeal. Teens and tweens will want to see Efron, parents might be fans of Perry, action lovers will get plenty of light saber fights, and romantics will fall for the honey sweet ending. There are a few funny bits throughout the plot (that aren’t completely predictable), mostly found in the antics of Ned in his enthusiasm for wooing and courting the school’s principal.

I found myself rooting for Mike as he began to connect with his children in a way he couldn’t before. Mike’s reconnection with is children is where the movie shines, proving that parents were once kids too and they might know more than kids could imagine.

I was won over by Efron’s portrayal of a teenaged father with teenaged children and I found that at times ( but not during the obvious lectures) I could see both the teenager and the father in his soul; a mighty feat of acting, if you ask me.

Overall, the movie was sweet, easy to predict, and occasionally funny as Mike navigated his way from 17 to 37 to 17 to 37 again. The movie offers a few philosophical moments for the more cerebral audience, but ultimately feels average. Nothing in the plot or writing particularly wowed me and the acting was fine, just not great. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I might even watch it again someday.

Rating: 3 Pages

1 comment:

  1. Black Faux leather jacket

    i really loves the clothes of zac effron in this movie 17 again and his acting too