Mr. Movie

'17 Again' again?

Heartthrob Zac Efron from the High School Musicial series stars as Mike O’Connell age 17.

Matthew Perry formerly of Friends is the 35+ year old O’Connell. 17 Again lets the pushing middle-age O’Connell, unhappy in his marriage and with his life, become 17 again.

If you’re an adult you’ve seen this plot at least — dare I say — 17 times.

If you’re the early-in-the-teen-years girl that this film is aimed at, then this is fresh and original.

Here’s all that is original. The character, Mike O’Connell, is 17 again today. Kudos for that one. It’s kind of new. But that brings up a whole new set of problems.

He goes to high school with his kids. They become friends. His wife is divorcing him and because he’s friends with the kids he meets her, too. She suspects, but doesn’t know for sure that he’s her husband at an age close to when they met 17 years earlier.

Doesn’t know? C’mon. Even someone practiced at suspending disbelief has to have problems with that one. He even calls her by her pet names. And she doesn’t know. Hmmm.

And the kids act like they’ve never seen dad’s pictures as a teen.

Then there’s Perry. He is a full foot taller than Efron, heavier, much different face — need I continue?

Here’s what does work. Thomas Lennon from Reno 911 plays O’Connell’s rich and very eccentric best friend. He’s hilarious and provides genuine gut busters that help make 17 Again at least a little bit fresh.

Ladies, sorry to do this to you but trust me, nothing else here is fresh. 17 Againis totally sitcom, pure TV. So if you’re in the teen target of this film, no matter what, do not — I repeat — do not think after you leave the theater. It’ll ruin everything. In fact, you may want to stop reading now and start making comments in the comment section telling me how narrow-minded and clueless I am about movies.

Like 17 Again, I’ve been there, done that.

Mr. Movie rating: 3 stars

Rated PG-13 for mature themes, some teen drug use. It opens Friday, April 17 at Regal’s Columbia Mall 8 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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