All My Movies: 17 Again

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When the boyfriend and I merged DVD collections we had a number of overlaps, which actually happened to be some of our favourite films. We of course, also brought in the totally diverse boy meets girl genres of films – action, drama, and adventure from him, rom coms, romances, and obscure comedies from me. It recently occurred to me that in the year and a half we’ve been living together I’ve barely touched his additions to our collection. And so I present the alphabetical journey through our collective movie library.

Starting with a movie I rewatched recently by coincidence, because a friend of mine hadn’t seen it yet.

17 Again
Starring: Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon
Co-Starring: Michelle Trachtenberg, Matthew Perry, Sterling Knight, Melora Hardin
Times Watched: 4 as of my last viewing (to the horror of my parents)
Genre: Comedy / Romantic Comedy

The Road To Ownership:
I was invited at the last minute to the premiere of this film via my sister. It was the weirdest and BEST premiere ever, but with very low attendance owing to the last minute invite. We got goodie bags with Zefron buttons and white boards and Joe gift cards. Plus there were catered desserts. It was just bananas.

Because the boyfriend works for a radio station, he gets to order DVDs, and we often siphon off one for our own collection. The only way he could order 17 Again strangely was to get a two-pack with St. Trinian’s (more on that later).

The Plot: Mike (Matthew Perry) is a disgruntled middle ager that is given the opportunity (unwittingly) to revert back to his seventeen-year-old self to fulfill some sort of spirit quest. He lives with his former high school best friend, the uber nerdy Ned (Thomas Lennon), who poses as his father in order to get closer to his high school principal. The film is basically the story of Mike trying to figure out what it is he’s supposed to do as a teenager – from helping his children to reconnecting with his soon-to-be ex-wife, mixed in with a fair bit of humour about a grown-up in a teenager’s body.

The Good & The Bad: This movie is genuinely hilarious and cute. Sometimes it borders on creepy (Mike dancing with Leslie Mann’s character and his sexual showdown with his daughter played by Michelle Trachtenberg), but for the most part Zac Efron does an excellent job of convincingly playing an adult who is mystified by his teenage freedoms.

The core story is pretty hilarious, but the real scene stealer is Thomas Lennon’s Ned, who easily has some of the funniest scenes and storylines throughout the film.
The only thing I wish is that there was a bit more time spent with Mike acting weird around the teens. There are a few choice scenes – his first day at school, the sex ed class, and the bowling alley – but there could have been much more.

Best Scene: I’m pretty partial to the scene of Ned and Mike trying to figure out how he became a teenager again. “A vampire wouldn’t tell. A cyborg wouldn’t know.” Also Ned and Mike going through his photos before meeting with the principal kills me every time.

Worst Scene: I find the scene between Mike and his daughter at the big house party pretty disturbing and squeamish, as opposed to funny. Also I’m not a Michelle Trachtenberg fan so it’s pretty mortifying to see her act out being a ‘lion’ and prowling after her teenaged father. I was also never really a big fan of the cafeteria basketball scene – it fell flat compared to some of Mike’s other fatherly advice smackdowns throughout the movie.

Best Character: Ned! Hands down.

Worst Character: Michelle Trachtenberg's obnoxious throughout.

Soundtrack of Our Lives: There isn't a lot of memorable tunes here, other than the great inclusion of a Kooks song at the end over the closing credits.

If You Like This You’ll Also Like: “She’s The Man” starring Amanda Bynes reminds me a LOT of this movie. The whole juxtaposition about what the audience knows about a character and how they act unusual in pretty normal situations, plus the general level of campiness, is great.

Overall Grade: 3.5/5

I should note that my grading scale is probably going to peg a lot of films in the 3-4 ‘star’ range. Using the scale, here’s a general overview of what each point value means:

5 Stars = It’s totally awesome and amazing, and has likely racked up many viewings by myself. It’s more likely to be an award winner, or at least universally loved, than lower ranked films. Chances are it’s one of my favourite films ever.

4.5 Stars = It’s a fantastic film that I’d easily recommend, but maybe isn’t something I’d put in my ‘Favourite Movies of All Time’ list.

4 Stars = I loved it, or at the very least, I respect what an excellent film it is.

3.5 Stars = I really like this movie, but it’s not one of my all time favourites and may not be universally revered.

3 Stars = I like this movie well enough that I’m happy to have it as part of my collection.

2.5 Stars = It was a decent movie, and not an entire waste of my time to watch. It may not be my cup of tea in terms of genre or some other major element.

2 Stars = It was okay. I probably wouldn’t watch it that often.

1.5 Stars = I didn’t particularly like this movie. Major plot, character, casting, writing, or some other overall element of the movie likely downgraded it to this point.

1 Star = I didn’t like it. And I probably won’t watch it again.

Anything below that and you can bet it’ll probably be hitting the ‘sale’ pile soon. I should note that I do have a ton of free DVDs in my collection that I haven’t watched. We’ve sold off quite a few DVDs that way because once we watch them and realize it’s a 2.5 star or less film, it’s probably not worth owning. I’m looking at you Semi-Pro.

Till next time,

- Britt’s On


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