So, the easiest way to describe “17 Again” for me is to say that it didn’t suck anywhere near as much as I expected it to – and by saying that, I mean I actually quite enjoyed it.
By enjoyed it, I mean that I didn’t want to hurl my deliciously tasty bag of Fruchocs at the screen, I didn’t decide to blow down the straw of my Coke for an hour to make that “bubbly” noise, and I deftly restrained myself from telling the row of (oddly enough) 17 year old girls behind me that I had just as much chance of banging Zac Efron as they did, no matter how many times they screamed when he flashed a smile – or in one unfortunate moment for any man in the audience – that high pitched scream only dogs can normally hear as 300 screaming banshees nearly explode from seeing a shirtless Efron playing Basketball – oh my.
At any rate, despite being something I’ve seen a dozen times before – because I’m getting old as bollocks now – and cribbing from every switcheroo movie ever made – “Vice Versa”, “Chances Are”, “Freaky Friday”, “Big” and yes, even “18 Again” – “17 Again” doesn’t screw with the formula, but certainly doesn’t add to it either. Matthew Perry plays the older Mike, about to be divorced, doesn’t know his kids from a hole in the ground, and wishes for the chance to do it all again when he meets a Janitor on a nostalgic trip to his old High School (the great to see Brian Doyle-Murray) – sure enough, Whammo! Blam! All that magic stuff goes down, and Matthew is now Zac with that second chance at High School, getting to know his kids, and maybe even *sniff, tear* a chance at winning back his wife.
I will freely admit that I have never watched any of the “High School Musical” films, or “Hairspray” (at least the remake anyway), so I’m realistically seeing Efron onscreen for the first time here – and he’s actually pretty good in the part, not exactly the annoying Freddie Prinze Jr. “She’s All That” type I was expecting – just kind of…. well, surprising really – I’ll have to take a squiz at his other flicks now, kind of reminds me of a Shia LaBeouf type.
But the best part of “17 Again” is the supporting cast – Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon (wicked funny in this), Michelle Trachtenberg, Sterling Knight and of course the always funny Matthew Perry (God I hope “The End Of Steve” gets picked up – you’ll never think of Chandler Bing again) – all good.
Anyway, short & sweet, I definitely didn’t hate “17 Again” – and I fully expected to – I actually had a pretty fun time with it, despite the fact that a doctor will now have to repair my punctured ear drums, so if I had to recommend something to go and see for a harmless bit of fun, this would be a pretty easy sell – however, it’s an even easier sell if you’re a hysterical teenage girl.