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17 Again Review


17 Again

I’ve seen 17 Again before a few times in the past. I had thought I had outgrown this movie. I guess I was wrong. Granted, it wasn’t the best movie ever, but it was still pretty funny and entertaining.

My rating 3.0 Stars

When I was a teenager, I was different from everyone else my age. Hell, I still am, but I learned to live with everyone else’s shortcomings. So what is so different about me compared to others? For one, I was very shy so I hardly ever talked to anyone. I had friends, but they were mostly at school. I never saw them outside of school, partly because we didn’t live very close, but mostly because I preferred to be alone. I’ve always had an over active imagination. Being with people prevented me from exercising that imagination. Instead I was forced to talk to them which to this day I am still not very good at. (However, I am getting better, I think!) I prefer to have imaginary conversations in my head similar to those in movies. I realize that may not be the most healthy activity, but that is just the way I am. In the future I plan to use that quirky quality in me to write some dialog for the screen plays I intent on writing, but for now I’ll just do my best to suppress it so that it won’t interfere with me listening to the next person that talks to me. The next time you talk to me and I have a blank stare on my face, it’s probably because I failed to repress that “feature”.

So not only am I different, I realize I am also pretty strange. It’s all good. I am happy and that is all that matters. However, I am not all that strange and different. Just like everyone else I share certain qualities with others. Like when you listen to an old song and suddenly you are reminded of the first time you heard it, what you were doing, the mood you were in and so on. Or when you notice a familiar scent you haven’t smelled in a long time or when you watch a new movie that has similar content to movies of your past. That’s exactly what happened to me when I saw 17 Again with Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, and Mathew Perry. I didn’t particularly love the movie, but I didn’t hate it either. What it did do for me was take me back to the time when my favorite movies were Like Father Like Son (1987), Vice Versa (1988), and Mr. Destiny (1990). Granted, none of these movies are greats, but what the hell did I know? I was only a young and stupid teen. Bad movies or not, I still loved those movies and I watched them over and over again. I even played them in my head when I wasn’t watching and even created my own version of them in my own mind. Now, these movies aren’t exactly the same, but they all have something in common. They all have to do with getting a second chance to make things right. That is something that has always been of interest to me as a child living in the inner cities of Cleveland, OH.

The movie 17 Again is about a high school student who is also a talented basketball player. He is presented with a choice. Either continue his basketball career or support his pregnant girlfriend. (I don’t understand why he couldn’t have done both, but that’s not the point!) Of course he chooses his girlfriend and the story leaps forward about 15 years. The young boy is now an adult with two kids that hate him and a failing marriage. He is unhappy simply because he is constantly wondering what his life would have been like if he had chosen his basketball career instead of starting a family early. He thinks about this so much that is just makes him miserable. However, through some sort of magic he gets the chance to become seventeen again and do things all over—hence the name of the movie. He doesn’t go back to his own time though, he stays put in the present. He enrolls in high school and tries to adjust to his new surroundings. He thinks he’s got it all figured out until he comes across his own children lives at school. He sees that his son is constantly picked on and his daughter is pretty much a slut. He decides to once again abandon his dreams, however, this time his intentions are to make things right by his children.

I know, it’s a silly, sappy and bathetic story, but I don’t care, I enjoyed it. There were some funny moments and some nice, fun characters and I got to see Chandler…I mean Matthew Perry again on the screen. Of course, that is just me and my opinion. Will I think others might like this movie? Perhaps not, but if you were a fan of the movies that I just mentioned above maybe you should give this one a shot. If you hated those movies, you’re not going to like this one, you can go ahead and skip it, you won’t really miss much. However, I think that deep down inside all us, we all wonder if we had the chance to do it all over again, would we? If you could, would you do anything differently? Personally, even thought I had a pretty crappy childhood, I wouldn’t change a thing. That crappy childhood made me into the person I am today.

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