I was probably just this side of it being odd that I had a little crush on Zac Efron, I think I was in college when High School Musical came out, and although I wasn’t too vocal about it my roommates did think it was funny to get me a giant Zac Efron poster for my birthday. Jokes on them, I hung it up in the living room for the rest of the year and they had to look at it. A half-naked Zefron is not a bad sight let me tell you. I wonder if I still have that poster somewhere…
So, I don’t think it was long after High School Musical that 17 again came out. IMDB says it came out the year after High School Musical 3. Baby Zefron, when he’s all cute and not quite grown up yet. It’s really awkward to find him cute now, but I think my crush is gone. I’m not sure how much there is to say, I’ve seen this movie a couple of times, I think it’s cute, but it’s far from a favorite. The whole ‘what would you change if you could do your life over again’ is only kind of interesting. I am excited to watch it again though. I’m right now sitting through a string of boring previews, have I seen Ghost of Girlfriends Past? Ooooh a Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince trailer!
On with the show…warning, spoilers ahead
This is my chance to have my life over, to do it right. Wouldn’t you if you had the chance?
No I would not! I’m rich and no one stuck my head in the toilet today.
Pretty much 17 Again is an It’s a Wonderful Life modern telling that is trying to feed off of Zac Efron’s fame before he grows up. Made in 2009 and staring Zac Efron, and his older self, played by Matthew Perry from Friends. The cast also includes the wife, played by Leslie Mann, who I honestly know best from George of the Jungle, Thomas Lennon, and a grown-up Harriet the Spy Michelle Trachtenberg. I know people from strange movies. I’m not always the biggest fan of this kind of movie, where the character’s switch bodies, or get younger, or something like that, Freaky Friday has never been a favorite of mine. Not to mention these movie tropes are done to death, and when you can pull it off in a half hour to an hour TV show you know it’s run its course. I’m pretty sure there is a more recent episode of Supernatural where Dean was make younger and felt like he had his life to live over again, I think they even pulled the same ‘nope you aren’t 21 so you can’t drink’ joke too.
So, long before the movie gets started we have to see Zac Efron being typecast as the cute high school basketball star who can dance. It’s almost so distracting that I thought I was watching High School Musical again. Also, it’s supposed to take play in 1989, I think, which is just 3 years after I was born and granted, it wasn’t that long ago, but it was kind of hard not to picture it more modern, maybe it was the way they were talking.
The best part of this movie by far was Ned, the awkward best friend who Mike or Mark, as he is known when he is his younger self. He had some of the best lines, and I’m pretty sure I wrote at least half of them done. Almost every time he opened his mouth I laughed.
‘Vampire wouldn’t tell, cyborg wouldn’t know’ – Ned
Oh Ned, I love you. Also, can I have just half of his stuff, maybe not the Star Wars bed.
Now the thing about the movies that I just absolutely love and will watch over and over again is the lack of moments that make me uncomfortable. Tension and angst, I can deal with, moments that take me out of the movie or make me squirm are usually what push movie to the bottom of my list. Unfortunately, there are a lot of those moments in this movie. I could deal with the being pubescent again, being friends with his son when they are both teenagers, and occasionally telling someone older that they are hot. That stuff is fun, what isn’t fun are the awkward moments when him and his wife are hitting on each other when he is a teenager, or when his daughter gets a crush on him and is trying to seduce him. Also, can someone tell that girl that no means no, it doesn’t matter what gender the parties involved are. I understand that there would be some tension between him and the wife (Scarlet) but the levels that they go to to try to make it funny kind of miss the mark in my book and just hit uncomfortable and please stop.
One thing I really liked about this movie, and the body switching/de-aging thing is that for once it was all immediate. Usually the changing character has something happen, then they go to bed, and when they wake up they are changed, but at the end they immediately change back and the logic just doesn’t work. If you are going to have some kind of magical element like that it needs to be consistent, I don’t care if it is just a movie. But in this case, it was immediate. Mike didn’t realize it until he got home, but then he was also soaking wet and covered in mud, I think I would ignore the fact that my height is wrong and that my close don’t fit if I were that uncomfortable, and at the end when he finally realized what he was changed for he changes back right away.
The best parts of a movie shouldn’t be that they go the science right and the side characters but sometimes it happens. I would watch this again just for Ned. Even for Ned and Mike’s friendship, I like that they didn’t have to give a reason why the popular kid was friends with the nerd, they just were and that was nice. It also was an easy segue into why Mike would friend his son Alex so quickly when he saw that everyone was bullying him. They had already established that he befriends the underdogs and I almost think that he would have helped and become friends with anyone in that situation, it just happened to work for the story that it was his son.
Unfortunately, there was just too much of this movie that made me feel weird and was hard to enjoy but overall I didn’t hate it. The incest and what not make it super awkward to go straight into Game of Thrones after this let me tell you.
I’ll give 17 Again a 3, I’ll keep it, there are enough parts that I enjoy, and it would probably make a good background movie while I’m working on stuff and I can just stop and focus on it when Ned is saying something funny.
Next up is 50 First Dates, see you next week.