Logo © One Movie, Five Views - Header design by Erin V.

Monday, April 20, 2009

17 Again Review

17 AGAIN - An Alliance Release


Opens: April 17th, 2009

Rated PG-13 for language, some sexual material, and teen partying.

Running time: 102 minutes

Burr Steers (dir.)

Zac Efron as Mike O’Donnell

Matthew Perry as Mike O’Donnell (Adult)

Leslie Mann as Scarlet

Thomas Lennon as Ned Gold

Michelle Trachtenberg as Maggie

Sterling Knight as Alex

Melora Hardin as Jane Masterson

Zac Efron and Sterling Knight star in 17 AGAIN, an Alliance Films’ release.

All images © 2009 Alliance All Rights Reserved. Distributed exclusively in Canada by Alliance Films. All Rights Reserved. / © 2009 Alliance Vivafilm. Tous droits réservés. Distribué exclusivement au Canada par Alliance Vivafilm. Tous droits réservés.

Our reviews below:


17 Again Review By John C.

*** (out of 4)

17 Again is a very funny and lighthearted comedy about 37 year old Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry), who gets the chance to be 17 again and relive his senior year. At 17, he is played by Zac Efron. His friend Ned (Thomas Lennon, who steals every scene he’s in) pretends to be his father and enrolls his “son” in high school. There he gets to reconnect with his kids, Alex and Maggie (Sterling Knight and Michelle Trachtenberg) and by being with his kids, he also gets to reconnect with his soon be ex-wife, Scarlett (Leslie Mann).

Matthew Perry is only on screen for about 10 to 15 minutes, this is really Zac Efron’s movie. Despite the fact that Matthew Perry and Zac Efron don’t look alike, (maybe his wife’s leaving him because after 20 years he’s stopped looking like the guy she married), the movie’s premise works well, sharing some similarities to other films like Freaky Friday and Big.

The film is very funny, with most of the laughs coming from his friend, Ned. A lot of the humor will be appreciated by Star Wars fans and will likely go over the heads of the audience that will see the movie just because of Zac Efron. Adults should not be deterred by the fact that it stars the actor from High School Musical. As we saw in other films like Hairspray, he actually can act.

17 Again is sweet, funny and has a good heart. I don’t think it would hold the interest of most kids under ten, but this is a film that families with older kids and teens can all see and enjoy.

Let’s just hope they don’t ruin the material with a needless sequel titled 17: Again? This is a lot of fun in theatres, but it would likely play just as well on DVD. So if you miss it now, don’t hesitate to check it out in a few months time. I am fully recommending this film.


17 Again Review By Erin V.

*** (out of 4)

In 17 Again, Mike O’Donnell, (Matthew Perry), a 37 year old man wishes that he could be 17 again. He wishes to be able to relive his highschool senior year, in hopes of getting the basketball scholarship that he missed out on when his girlfriend told him at the last game of the season that she was pregnant. When he gets his wish, (he is played at 17 by Zac Efron), along with the help of his friend, Ned Gold, (Thomas Lennon), he enrolls in highschool and makes the team. At the same school as his teenage son and daughter*, he soon realizes that maybe he became 17 again to help them rather than himself.

This is a fun movie, that exceeded my expectations. Quite funny at times, while it uses a premise that has been seen before, (in reverse in Big e.g.), it still seems new. Zac Efron plays his character well, convincingly acting as a 37 year old might in a highschool situation, despite himself being 21. Watching this movie was the kind of fun family activity that you would want either during the day on weekends or later in the day on weekdays. What I really appreciated about this film is that fact that some films like this seem to be made so that only kids and teens can enjoy them. This is one that the adults bringing the kids will have fun with too. You should go out and see 17 Again. It’s worth the price of admission.

* When 17 again, Mike ends up in the same class as his daughter, who obviously cannot be 17, considering when his girlfriend announced her pregnancy. This is how it could possibly work. At the beginning, when he finds out about the pregnancy, he is 17, but only a few days shy of his 18th birthday. His girlfriend is approximately 3 1/2 weeks pregnant. Presuming it’s the end of April at the beginning, the baby would have been due, and born, full term at the beginning of January 1990, when he is 18 years and 8 months old. When he goes back to highschool later in the year, his daughter will have just turned 19. This means that she started her senior year at 18, thus repeating a grade somewhere along the way.


17 Again Review By Nicole

***1/4 (out of 4)

Following in the tradition of movies like 13 Going on 30, and Big, 17 Again is a similar premise, only in reverse, and with a fresh new look. It follows the story of Mike O’Donnell, starting in 1989, when he was 17. Mike has to sacrifice his basketball game to tend to his pregnant girlfriend, Scarlett. Fast forward 20 years, and Mike’s kid's attend Hayden High School, the same school he used to attend. Mike’s marriage to Scarlett is strained, and they are on the verge of divorce. But an encounter with a mysterious school janitor grants Mike’s wish to be 17 again. Mike’s geeky highschool friend Ned, at first doesn’t recognize him, and in a hilarious scene, Ned tries to defend himself. But after noticing an old picture, Ned recognizes Mike. So, posing as Mike’s single Dad, he enrolls Mike at Hayden. At Hayden High School, Mike realizes that his kid’s lives are more challenging than he previously thought. His involvement with them, as a 17 year old with a parent’s mind, helps them through the challenges of going to school and growing up. Through Mike’s journey as a 17 year old, Mike learns the importance of being committed and involved with his family.

17 Again is a fun movie. There is not a lot of adult content, and the messages about family, and growing up, are really lovely. The subplot about Ned, the Star Wars and Lord of The Rings fanboy, is both funny and sweet at the same time. For those of you that know people who are passionate about their favourite subjects, but have trouble with social skills, Ned’s character will really make you smile. There are a lot of laugh out loud scenes, as well as many heartwarming scenes. 17 Again is one movie you will definitely want to see.


17 Again Review By Maureen

*** (out of 4)

I don’t think I’d want to be 17 again. But it was a whole lot of fun watching 37 year old Mike O’Donnell, (played by Matthew Perry), become 17 year old Mike O’Donnell, (played by Zac Efron), on a dark and stormy night. There were a lot of clichéd moments in this story but overall this was an enjoyable and frequently very funny movie for the whole family.

Zac Efron is a delight to watch and Ned , hilariously played by Thomas Lennon is one of those Star Wars/fantasy geeks that those of us who know and love these special kind of guys absolutely love. The scenes with Ned were my favorite laugh out loud moments in this movie.

The story unfolds with Ned pretending to be 17 year old Mike’s father and with Mike returning to his old highschool. Thirty-seven year old Mike’s two kids, Maggie and Alex happen to attend the same high school. In the meantime Mike’s wife, Scarlett has filed for divorce. Mike as a 17 year old gets the opportunity to influence his children’s lives in a way he couldn’t as their 37 year old Dad. Mike also comes to the realization that he doesn’t need to be 17 again to find what he really wants in life. The ending is satisfying and I know I left the theatre with a smile on my face and a lightness in my heart.

17 Again is good family fun. Treat yourself and your family to an afternoon or evening out at the movies. This one’s worth it.


17 Again Review By Tony

*** (out of 4)

Back in 1989, Mike O’Donnell (Zac Efron) gave up a basketball scholarship to marry the girl who was having his child. About 20 years later, with his wife leaving him, his kids ignoring him, and passed over for a promotion at work, Mike (Matthew Perry) crashes with his high school friend Ned (Thomas Lennon), now a super rich software developer. With the help of a phantom janitor, his wish to go back and do things right is fulfilled when he finds himself transformed back to a teenager. With Ned posing as his father, he enrolls in his old school to rescue his kids from the school bully and eventually things work out just in time for him to be changed back.

This film was surprisingly good. Reminiscent of other stories, notably Back to the Future, It’s a Wonderful Life, and currently the CBC series Being Erica, the inevitable clashes set up by the premise are well handled here. The cast is all good, notably Thomas Lennon who steals every scene he is in as Ned, a Lord of the Rings and Star Wars geek with a house full of memorabilia such as a land speeder bed, much of which was borrowed for the film from the Skywalker ranch. It is too bad that many of the more clever cultural references will be lost to the tweens that come just to see Zac Efron.


(L-R) Leslie Mann as Scarlet and Zac Efron as Mike O’Donnell in 17 AGAIN, an Alliance Films’ realease. _____________________________________________

Consensus: This is harmless fun that everyone 10 and up will be able to enjoy. Go out and see 17 Again if you have the chance. *** (Out of 4)

No comments: