17 Again Review: Cute movie, Bad Math

Sunday, April 19, 2009

17 Again is a movie flick that explores the question "what are the funny things you can do if you're a 39 year old man who suddenly turns into a 19 year old boy?" while trying to avoid awkward situations that will warrant this film an R-18 rating.

Last Saturday, I finally got to watch this movie. And yes, I came to the cinemas with the full intention of watching it. Yes, even though I knew Zac Efron was in the movie. Yes, even though I knew Vanessa Hudgens won't be debuting an adult movie career with this movie. Or even appearing at all.

So here's my take.

First things first. The movie is a popcorn movie, and it'd be wrong to expect something innovative about it. Even with just the trailer's voice over, you already know that it's the type of movie you'd sit down, have a fun time laughing at jokes, and then completely forget about afterward. It's not supposed to change your life, barring the idea that you lose your virginity while watching the movie.

Anyway, in case you missed the dead giveaway trailer, 17 Again is about a washup guy (Matthew Perry) who thought if he relived his life again, he could do better. One night he gets his wish and becomes 20 years younger and turns into his 17yo self (Zac Efron) and he tries to see his life from another angle - as peers of his kids and the MILF-stalker of his wife.

The whole I-became-younger-lol premise appealed to me and probably a lot of other people because most of us probably had questions about whether or not what would have happened had we made different choices in our life's turnpikes. Also, hints jailbait sex and being young enough so every other woman you know belongs to the "hot mature" category.

The movie made me constantly laugh, and in that light, it was successful. Zac Efron despite his reputation for being a shitty actor, actually pulled off a nice performance, at times convincing you that he IS a 37yo man in a 17yo's body. The nerdy antics of Mark's best bud throughout the film was an added bonus, and even my gf laughed loudly to every scene he was in.

(bit of spoiler starts here)

One thing that I found strange though was the math of it all. Mark impregnated his wife Scarlet when he was 17 and gave birth to their eldest daughter during 1989. 20 years later, Mark is 37 and the daughter is of course, 20. Mark becomes younger by 20 years making him 17. Meanwhile, the eldest daughter is 20 years old and is still in Highschool, making me think she's either a repeater (but she couldnt have been because she is going to some ivy league school).

One explanation from a technical point of view is that this movie had been slated to have been released years earlier. Like 2-3 years earlier. 1989 was chosen as a year so the script could have 80s jokes in it at the first part of the the film. Had it been made in 2006, both the father and the daughter would have been 17 which made more sense. But the movie got made later on, but it was too late to edit out the 80's jokes (I mean what joke can you make about the early nineties? Nothing was funny back then) so the crew just had to pretend the problem didn't exist.

But like I said, it's a popcorn flick.

My recommendation? Watch it if you get the opportunity to do so.


nomad said...

Zac Efron did a great job in 17 Again; he pretty much carried that movie all by himself


I beg to disagree. Hahaha without "Uncle Ned" the movie wouldn't be as hilarious.

Menaya Garces said...

I was planning to not watch it, but since you recommended it, I just might pull enough chutzpah to see it. Should I bring a barf bag?


It's decent. Honest. Just don't expect a "There Will Be Blood" level of movie experience and you'll be fine.

Anonymous said...

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