As we've seen many movies like this before: Big, 13 Going on 30, and Freaky Friday, we always love to see the retelling of the old classic story of the switching age. Since the story has been used so much, a director can only do so much to just do the best they can with, Burr Steers pulls 17 Again out with great laughs and good fun. I'm going to get this out, I am one of the rare girls that just doesn't get the whole Zac Efron heart throb thing, I agree that he's cute, but with mainly High School Musical only being his claim to fame other than Hairspray, he is adorable, but can he act? Surprisingly
he can. I can't believe I'm saying this, he was actually a good strong lead role and a perfect fit, he has charisma, he's funny, charming and makes this story worth your time and money.
In 1989, Michael O'Donnell was a star athlete with a full college scholarship imminent. He seemingly had it all, when, right before the championship game, his girlfriend Scarlett informed him she was pregnant. In that moment, he made the decision to throw everything away and proposed to her. Twenty years later, Mike's life isn't exactly what he expected it to be. Scarlett wants a divorce from him, forcing him to move in with his geeky millionaire best friend Ned, his job is going nowhere, and his kids Maggie and Alex want nothing to do with him. While paying a visit to Hayden High School to reminisce about the life he threw away, he encounters a strange beardy janitor, who I still swear is Bob Haskins. On the way home, is magically transformed back into his 17-year old self. With Ned posing as his father, he re-enrolls in high school, believing he has been given the chance to have his life over again, "but to do it right". However, he then discovers that his daughter is dating the basketball captain Stan, who is bullying his son. He realizes that his real mission is to help his children as well as finding out that maybe his decision wasn't the worst he ever made in his life.
We go a little Back to the Future-esquire when we get on the creepy level of Michelle Trachtenberg having a crush on Zac Efron who is her father, just that she can't recognize him, it's understanding, but still makes you squirm, but the director and actors pulled the scene off pretty well with getting out of that yucky situation. There is one continuity error: if Mike and his girl got pregnant at the age of 17... 20 years later, yet both their kids are still in high school, the oldest child would only be a maximum of 18. A plot hole: seriously, besides the wife, no one at all recognizes Mike? But I'm over thinking the movie too much at this point, it's just a fun movie with decent performances, I just need to let go of silly mistakes. So I would recommend this movie if you get the chance to see it, but I'd say more of a matinée vs. a full price ticket, it has some good laughs and was a great update of the "What if you could go back?" story.