Saturday, April 18, 2009

17 Again

Zac Efron is no one I have heard of but he is the star of this funny movie. He plays Mike O'Donnell (Teen) who is 17 years old. This movie is hilarious. It is as funny as Observe and Report without showing some naked guy's private parts.

Leslie Mann is in this movie and she was pretty in the Owen Wilson comedy Drillbit Taylor. She returns as Matthew Perry's wife-Scarlett O'Donnell (Adult). He plays Mike O'Donnell (Adult). What happens is Mike is totally upset with the decision he made to chase the distraction, his girlfiend in the final seconds of an important High School Varsity basketball game. There was a college scout there that was on the verge of offering him an athletic scholarship. Mike ends up marrying Scarlett but never attends college. They have two lovely kids together and a wonderful home. But this endless guilt of what if never expires. It just drives him crazy and causes Scarlett to divorce him. Mike has tossed this guilt trip and sadness at her for years. Why he could not go to college and marry her is beyond me? She walked away from him during the last moments of a pivotal hoops game. What type of person does this? She must have been pretty selfish or ridiculously impatient. What really occured is she told him-Mike-something that alters the direction of one's life. She may have been moving, it was far reaching for sure. It shook his thoughts, but the viewer will never know.

Melora Hardin is the gorgeous principal named Principal Jane Masterson. She is preyed upon Mike's make believe, present day dad Thomas Lennon-Ned Gold. Ned is awefully rich who sparked his fortune in some sort of online music software. He quickly becomes Mike's dad after Mike falls or voluntarily allows himself to be sucked into a time portal near a bridge. The school janitor is somehow involved in this. He gives Mike a second shot at redoing his life. But this movie is not a copy of Tom Hank's Big because he goes from adult to child rather than vice versa.

The movie takes Mike back to High School, in the modern world. High School is portrayed to be more of a circus than in reality but not by much. Kids kissing the classroom, teachers are portrayed to be baby sitters, slightly above moronic, and it does not seem any home work is given out-ever. When Mike returns to the same high school, the same coach is there. The basketball coach, is 20 years older but he still should recognize Mike as looking like a player he coached 20 years prior. But this is another subject.

Too bad Mike does not have Matthew Perry's height at that tender age, he would have had more scholarship offers, and perhaps already have signed earlier in the season. He must of had a growth spurt after high school, as well as Scarlett.

If the water boy ever ruined a team picture like that in any sport he probably would have been physically assaulted or tossed off the team at some point. I doubt coach would allow any player of his to dance with the cheerleaders during half time or before the game in a game of this caliber. Again, another subject. We will allow these transgressions to pass.

The movie was entertaining. It was not that long, nor was the music score anything worth noting. They mentioned Guns n' Roses but I do not recall any song from that movie nor any song from the contemporary music list that is making its rounds on FM stations around the world. The movie did toss some attractive females our way, had the typical home bashing high school party, and showed the typical rich boy high school fights. Mike had the jump on his futute teammate but high school jerk but this guy still was able to get the better of Mike and slug him several times. No one broke it up, not that realistic. This part borrowed the script from Never Back Down in that the fight was recorded on several camera phones and then shot all over the glove in nano seconds. Somehow, Mike was able to keep and instantly retain his bravado. They do make the brunette Allison Miller look like a young Leslie Mann which is impressive.

The first half was funnier than the second. I found myself giggling more in the first part of the film. The movie has a happy ending, Mike is playing basketball in the same circumstances and he walks away from the game and his coach after Scarlett who is twice his age. But the janitor is mysteriously in the crowd and in the hall way, the same one, the time warp appears for Mike and he flips back to his normal self. The large, yuppy, chunky Matthew Perry. Ofcourse Scarlett is tight as always. She was shaken when the younger Mike sent a kiss her way by shooting it like a basketball. The memories and eariness of this irks her and Mike walks away from the game which is obviously not a priority to him at all.

The good in all of this is Mike's rich adult friend meets the principal, which will turn out to be is life long flame. Mike's daughter is dumped by her punk boyfriend who also is the one who beat up her dad, she will march onward to the liberal and anti American institution Georgetown. Mike's best friend as a teenager, and son as an adult, makes the basketball team and developes his confidence which has been roaming around the gutter.

Mike and Scarlett will live happily ever after. He comes around and realizes his decision was sound in the first place.

I allocate this movie two stars.**

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