Brought to you by OBS staff member Annabell Cadiz
The year is 1989, Michael O’Donnell is a star athlete with a full college scholarship pretty much in the bag. Scouts have come out to watch him play in the championship game. Michael is pumped and excited, that is until his girlfriend Scarlett shows up and informs him she is pregnant. Michael steps back into the middle of the gym, shocked and dazed, as the game commences. But he takes a moment to look at Scarlett, at the hurt on her face, and watches her turn and run from the gym. In that moment he makes the decision that affects the rest of his life, he tosses the basketball and runs after Scarlett.
Fast forward twenty years later, Mike’s life is pretty much falling apart. Scarlett wants a divorce from him, he has now been forced to move out and is living with his total geeky best friend (who also happens to be a millionaire through designing video games) Ned, and his job is going no where. Plus, Michael’s kids don’t want anything to do with him. Michael heads to his old high school, Hayden High, to reminisce about his long ago dreams of being a major basketball star. He ends up encountering an odd janitor and has a quick little chat with him, not thinking much of the janitor. On his way home, Michael sees the same janitor standing atop of a bridge looking as if he is planning to jump off. Michael jumps out of the car and runs to the man, shouting for him not to jump off, but the janitor instead ends up magically turning Michael back into his seventeen year old self. With Ned’s help, Michael realizes he’s put on a journey by a spirit guide to figure out what matters most in his life.
17 Again has become one of my favorite movies! Full of splendid humor and wit, you will find yourself laughing through practically the entire film. There was a heart warming story even through the predictability of a classic body swapping movie.
My favorite character was that of Ned who was played by Thomas Lennon. He was downright fantastic! A nerd to the core, Ned has a horrible inability to not be able to fit in and has a tendency to over do it all the time. From his ridiculous wardrobe choices to the even more ridiculous antics he directs toward the principal of the school to go on a date with him, Ned had me fidgeting in my seat with uncontrollable bouts of laughter. Zac Efron as seventeen year old Michael was just as funny and was very moving. Matthew Perry as the older Michael was pretty good, he didn’t have a lot of scenes though. Leslie Mann was hilarious as Michael’s mother and so oblivious at times. Sterling Knight as Michael’s son was so adorable and so nerdy, I just loved him! Michelle Trachtenberg was probably one of the only characters I didn’t care for. She was too over dramatic and too teenage angst for my taste.
One of my favorite scenes is when seventeen year old Michael (or as he is known, Mark) finds Alex strapped to the toliet in the man’s bathroom by tape which has been wrapped around every inch of him. I like when Alex and Mark head to lunch together after Mark breaks Alex free, and how he gets back at the bully who attacked Alex. I also really loved the scene where Ned finally goes to dinner with Principal Jane (Melora Hardin) who turns out to be a closeted nerd.
17 Again is written fairly well with wonderful little witty and sarcastic quips and fueled by an impressive cast.
I recommend grabbing a bowl of popcorn and sitting around with the family on movie night. You won’t regret it!
Running Time: 102 minutes (1 hr. 42 mins.)
Director: Burr Steers
Rating: 10/10 stars