Monday, April 20, 2009

My thoughts on 17 Again starring Zac Efron

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This past Friday night I forked over $9.50 (ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME, AMC?) to see the new ZACEFRON (pronounced as one robotic-sounding word (thanks, Heike for the nickname)) flick, 17 Again. Me and 400 million teen aged girls.

I was more than a little skeptical going in to the film. After all, I had spent the equivalent of 1 hour of time filing papers in a doctor's office on the ticket so I didn't just want to see High School Musical 4 (except secretly that would not have disappointed me at all). Luckily I was pleasantly surprised that it was actually a very entertaining movie worthy of my dinero!

So we all get the gist: Matthew Perry is about to get a divorce from his wife, he remembers the good old days when he was Zac Efron, cool and popular, and he gets transformed back to his 17-year-old self by a magical old janitor.

Zac Efron goes back to his high school, where his son and daughter currently attend, and gets to have all those great father-daughter/father-son moments with his kids, as a creepy 17-year-old classmate named "Mark" who is oddly interested in their lives. Sure, there were the token "Who do you think you are, my FATHER?!" moments that you would expect from any movie where a young girl's dad has transformed into her teen aged classmate who still disciplines her as if he were her father (it's funny because WE know, but SHE doesn't know that he IS her dad! Hee hee), but this cheesiness didn't cancel out the otherwise entertaining portions of the film.

Sidenote: the daughter was played by Michelle Trachtenberg, who apparently never ages because she's still playing teenagers in movies, and I was under the impression that she was like 30 by now. (She's 23.)

Zacefron also gets close to his wife who, though he is 17, is still 37. These scenes tend to be a bit creepy. At least for the younger viewers in the audience. But I definitely noticed the, let's say, "more mature" women in the audience get a little excited at the thought of slow dancing with the Zacefron. These scenes were reminiscent of the creepy scenes with Jamie Lee Curtis and Chad Michael Murray in Freaky Friday when Lindsay Lohan had overtaken Curtis's body.
I should also add that throughout the movie I almost never thought of Troy from High School Musical. Well, except for in the first five minutes of the movie when Zacefron played basketball, did a choreographed dance on said basketball court, and then said "We're in this together!" But other than that, there was almost no Troy in this movie.

Overall, the Zacefron did a great job as a 37-year-old in the body of a 17-year-old. His ability to escape the High School Musical trap pleasantly surprised me. There's also a dramatic scene at the end of the movie that I'm pretty sure had 2,000 girls surrounding me reaching for the Kleenex.

So all in all the verdict for 17 Again is: Go see it!

PS: One of my favorite lines in the movie was at the very beginning and spoken by one of the extras to a friend who had just gotten a promotion: "But it gets better- because we're going to T.G.I. FRIDAYS!"

I don't know why that was so funny to me, but it was.

What did YOU think of 17 Again? Leave your thoughts in the comments or @reply me on Twitter at

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