Friday, August 14, 2009

Under 250: 17 Again

Admit it: for a teen idol, Zac Efron’s got what it takes to pass through the fire and maintain a pretty solid career. Looks, skills, comic timing, the Zefron has all the magical powers of an A-list leading man-child. If you were left with doubts after the self-aware camp of High School Musical 3, perhaps you should try the rather successful body-swap comedy of 17 Again. Efron plays the youthful incarnation of Matthew Perry’s Mike O’Donnell, a man with a lot of regrets. Mike’s a man approaching 40 with a wife (Leslie Mann) who wants a divorce, teenage children who can’t stand him, a dead end job, and who’s stuck living with his ubergeek best friend (Thomas Lennon), a man with a collection of replica weaponry and a land speeder bed. Things happen and Mike finds himself magically as he was at age 17, convinced that this time around he has a lesson to learn and wisdom to impart on his kids. This is no great achievemetn, to be sure, but it manages to pull away from being a pale reverse imitation of Big and to find its light-hearted footing. There are a surprising amount of clever lines and awkward laughs sprinkled throughout the film. And it should be said: Zac Efron makes a more convincing middle aged dad than Matthew Perry. His lectures and attempted seductions of Mann are oddly believable. Fluffy and saccharine, it’s a pleasant diversion and a charming sort of 80’s redux.

3 out of 5.

17 Again, dir. Burr Steers, stars: Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, Matthew Perry, Michelle Trachtenberg, Thomas Perry, Melora Hardin, rated PG-13, Running Time: 102 min.

1 comment:

  1. watched this last night and loved it! I have more and more respect or Efron every day. I'll have to start wearing that HSM3 shirt, you know, the one I have with the glitter.


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