What would you do if you got a second shot at life? Class of 1989, Mike O'Donnell is a star on his high school basketball court with a college scout in the stands and a bright future in his grasp. But instead, he decides to throw it all away to share his life with his girlfriend Scarlett and the baby he just learned they are expecting. Almost 20 years later, Mike's glory days are decidedly behind him. His marriage to Scarlett has fallen apart, he has been passed over for a promotion at work, his teenage kids think he is a loser, and he has been reduced to crashing with his high school nerd-turned-techno-billionaire best friend Ned. But Mike is given another chance when he is miraculously transformed back to the age of 17. Unfortunately, Mike may look 17 again, but his thirtysomething outlook is totally uncool in the class of 2009. And in trying to recapture his best years, Mike could lose the best things that ever happened to him.
Firstly, it's Zac Efron. Ahhhhhh! (Yes, this probably is part of the appeal that will probably have teenyboppers flocking to this movie.) That aside, definite kudos to the kid for portraying teen Mike O'Donnell beautifully - I was pleasantly surprised. Now, I do have to admit that when the movie started off with the cheerleaders' sequence and Mike (Zac) jumped in and started dancing along with them, I seriously feared for the rest of the movie. No. Really. Luckily, that one HSM reminiscent moment was just that - a slight glitch, if you will.
Zac has definitely picked the right movie to establish himself as an actor outside of the massive High School Musical franchise - a perfect combination of humour, teenage-ness, and seriousness. Leslie Mann's portrayal of Scarlett O'Donnell was credible and well done. Thomas Lennon - gosh, that guy was hilarious as Ned Gold.
In fact, the humour element was very well carried out throughout the film; lots of moments of barely contained snickering, even more moments of flat out laughing. Inject some adorable "aww" moments, and you've got 17 Again. Sterling Knight was quite the one to watch, in his role as Alex O'Donnell. Anyone else find his freckles adorable? ;)
The deja vu, oh the deja vu. Very cleverly incorporated scenes of past vs. present, for sure. Now, there were definite moments of cliche, awkwardly disturbing instances, and scenes that lacked realism - no way, did that really just happen? - or - pssh. As if. Yeah, right. - but if one is able to suspend disbelief long enough and just go along with flow without thinking too much, it works fine.
Overall, 17 Again is an enjoyable, light-hearted humourous watch with just a touch of contemplative elements. Rawr.