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17 Again reminds me of films such as Big, and 13 going on 30 and freaky friday. Wishing what would have happened if you’d have taken a certain path in life.
Matthew Perry stars as Mike O’Donnell a thirty year old dad who lives a bleak existence and is soon to divorce Scarlett his high school sweet heart. Flashback to highschool 1989 where Zac Efron stars as a young Mike, popular and a star of the basket ball team – reminds me of High school musical where he also played basketball for the wild cats . At the basketball game talent scouts are watching but Scarlett announces she is pregnant to him, he runs off the court and his basketball career ends.
In the future, as a thirty year old he lives with regrets, and then the final blow is when he misses out on a promotion in his pharmaceutical sales job to a younger woman who has only just joined the team, where as he’s been working an eternity there. On top of this, him and Scarlett (played by Lesley Mann) are about to separate, and he is currently living with his best friend a software nerd Ned . He’s almost going through a mid life crisis, Could things get any worse? Well not in Hollywood . The next bit of the film he tries to save a janitor and is busy reminiscing of the life he could have had and then transforms into a 17 year old again. He appears back in Neds house, and has a hard time convincing Ned that he’s Mike but only 17 again, funny seeing Zac Efron in a suit that swamps him, at one point they’re fighting starwars jedi style, and its only after Mike recites a few personal facts about Ned that Ned believes he isn’t an imposter. Mike enrols at High School with Ned posing as his dad, throughout the film Ned tries to ask the principal Jane out numerously on dates, offering gifts like limousines and laptops for the whole school until she gives in. Ned is not really getting anywhere with Jane,It is only over dinner when Ned declares that he is a bit of a geek and likes lord of the rings films that Jane hits it off with Ned, and they start to talk in Elvish.
Mike gets a reality check when he realises he has been so wrapped up in himself that he hasn’t realised whats been happening to his teenagers at high school. that his daughter Maggie is dating the school bully and isn’t that innocent and his son Ned is being bullied and just wants to get onto the basketball team. Mike’s purpose to relive being 17 again is not just to be popular again but to ultimately help his children not make the mistakes he did, and to serve as a better role model parent. There’ a bit that reminds me of about clueless and mean girls, where he’s given a style transformation by Ned in order to fit in after enrolling at High School and he turns up in a flash car and suddenly hes like the most popular lad in school, even his daughter asks about him, if only she realised he’s her dad!. They play the soundtrack the Spoon – The underdog just as he rolls up to highschool which is a really catch tune, which they also played in I love you Man. Scarlett meets the young Mike, Mike tells her that he’s like related to uncle Ned, she cant help but stare at him as he reminds her of her husband when he was younger, there are bits where the young Mike almost gives it away, by playing the song they got married to, and saying the same catchphrases that her husband does, she mentions that she still has feelings for him, but maybe wrong timing has played a part.
Fast forward to the final scene, and Mike realises that he had no regrets and Scarlett still plays a part in his life, he doesn’t envy highschool life anymore and realises that you can t change anything in life.
I though Matthew Perry played more a cameo role in this movie, but Zac Efron proved that he really can act as he was stereotyped to acting in just musical type films like Hairspray and High School Musical. He really showed a greater depth, paired with Leslie Mann who played scarlet, she adds comedic value, (starring in Knocked up and funny people.) I thought this film is great for any age, and it isn’t just a teen film.