About a guy whose life didn't quite turn out how he wanted it to and wishes he could go back to high school and change it. He wakes up one day and is seventeen again and gets the chance to rewrite his life.
At 17 Mike O'Donnell is on top of the world: he's the star of his high school basketball team, is a shoo-in for a college scholarship, and is dating his soul-mate, Scarlet. But at what's supposed to be his big game where a college scout is checking him out, Scarlet reveals that she's pregnant. Mike decides to leave the game and asks Scarlet to marry him, which she does. During their marriage, Mike can only whine about the life he lost because he married her, so she throws him out. When he also loses his job, he returns to the only place he's happy at, his old high school. While looking at his high school photo, a janitor asks him if he wishes he could be 17 again and he says yes. One night while driving he sees the janitor on a bridge ready to jump, and goes after him. When he returns to his friend Ned's house, where he has been staying, he sees that he is 17 again. He decides to take this opportunity to get the life he lost. Written by
In one scene, Mike wakes up and begins describing his "dream" of being in high school again only to find his daughter, Maggie, caring for him. This is an homage to the counterpart scene in Back to the Future (1985) in which Marty McFly wakes up and finds his teen-aged mother caring for him. See more »
When 17 year old Mike is dancing with the cheerleaders in 1989, the coach calls him Vanilla Ice, who didn't make it big until 1990-1991. See more »
A genuinely good teen film. Something this generation has been lacking...
I've just returned from the cinema after watching this film and I have to say, my friends and I laughed like a bunch of hyenas (probably to the annoyance of anyone behind us) all the way through it. The story of course is nothing original, but you knew that going in, and yes, there are some seemingly ridiculous or stereotypical character setups, again acknowledged beforehand, but the direction and the acting, more than makes up for this. Most of the actors, especially Efron, who proves he's definitely not just a wanna-be pretty boy and actually stores away some talent, play their parts well. Matthew Perry seemed slightly misplaced, even if he was the reason I went to see the film in the first place. Not to mention the director being Burr Steers who directed one of my favourite films. I could kind of tell how in the wrong hands this movie could have been embarrassingly bad, but Steers manages to balance the right amount of comedy with drama and turn it into something really worth seeing. Efron blew me away. I have to say, I didn't see it coming, and I never thought I'd say such a sentence, but this boy can do better than TV Disney movies. I'm kind of glad he has turned down re-make, Footloose, not only because it's a 're-make of footloose'.
On the negative side of things the writing lacked in terms of Mark's relationship with his daughter. The daughter didn't really seem to have a personality, now I'm not totally sure if this is down to Trachtenbergs terrible acting (one of very little who deliver poor performances actually) or poor character development but something was wrong there.
I don't really rate the cinematography, but I don't think it's something to be taken quite seriously in teen films. It's all about the characters and the comedy - but what was up with that image of Zac right before 'Mark' falls into the water? Some interesting choices of music. One of the funniest movies I've seen in a while. Quite moving and Mark is a much more 3 dimensional, well developed character than most PG-13 rated movies you see. I genuinely cared about him, where as, even in Mean Girls, (which is particularly hilarious and legendary as far as contemporary teen films go) I didn't care too much for any of the characters. It's probably because this film went that little bit further than most and took itself seriously, if only for parts of the movie. It makes a big difference.
So, yeah, '17 Again', fairly well written, hilarious, well and sometimes greatly acted and awesome direction for the most part, and a genuinely good, enjoyable and moving film. Take a look and you'll probably be surprised... but don't go in hoping for anything Oscar worthy. I get the impression there is only so much a director can do with a film like '17 Again' and he did it alright.
Trustworthy director and impressive lead, I'd say. Can make all the difference.
p.s. I'd also watch out for that Sterling Knight actor - he plays Marks awkward son. He gave a genuinely good performance also.
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