EDITOR'S NOTE - Film Fans runs in the Friday Weekend section of the Gwinnett Daily Post. It features local residents reviewing the film of the week: "17 Again." Want to be a Film Fan? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
3 out of 4 stars
This movie is a modern mixture of "It's a Wonderful Life" and "Back to the Future" except this time there is a quirky elf-speaking, "Lord of the Rings"/"Star Wars" fanatic who makes several scenes hilarious.
The movie is definitely targeted more toward the Chandler generation rather than the Zac Efron followers. It is a great comedy. However, the scenes with the daughter and her seriously creepy Oedipus complex should have been left out because they detract from the movie.
The PG-13 rating is important because those under 13 will not enjoy or understand most of the movie even if they loved all the "High School Musical" movies.
- Tami L. Barratt
3 out of 4 stars
This movie was overall entertaining. Zac Efron (as Mike) did a great job as a grown man transported back into his glory days, after wishing for a chance to do it all over again.
I also liked the message at the end.
It was fun to watch the humor with his friend, Ned, played by Thomas Lennon, trying to gain the principal's interest, and the family dynamics held your attention.
I thought Leslie Mann also did a good job as Mike's soon-to-be-ex-wife and there are a few touching moments in the film as Zac tries to win his family back and take advantage of his unexpected second chance.
- Cindy Evans
2 1/2 out of 4 stars
This movie starts slow but gains momentum along the way and ultimately earns an audience.
The cast complements one another very well and the story weaves itself into your heart through effective and detailed craftsmanship. The movie begins with Mike, a former high school basketball star, on the steps of divorce. He's living with his old high school buddy, Ned Gold, who is a mega-wealthy software entrepreneur. Mike has two high school kids who don't relate to him. And he has just been fired from a lucrative sales position.
But then like magic, Mike is transformed into his former self and is a senior in high school again and he still has his dribble with a lot more patience, wisdom and character. So he gets Ned to enroll him in high school as his kid and you can figure the rest as he befriends his kids and helps them both to grow with his guidance. Plus, he becomes friends with his wife, who is divorcing him.
This movie will not win any awards for sure, but the young Mike played by Zac Efron is a star in the making and the emotional hits it creates are special indeed. The ending credits are neat as well.
- Rick Wright