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Arts & Culture

Teen Critics On 17 Again…And Again

Zac Efron stars in 17 Again
Zac Efron stars in 17 Again

By Nick Alva

In "17 Again" (opening April 17 throughout San Diego) Mike O'Donnell (Disney star Zac Efron of "High School Musical" fame) is a star on his high school basketball court with a college scout in the stands and a bright future in his grasp. But instead, he decides to throw it all away to share his life with his girlfriend Scarlett and the baby he just learned they are expecting. Almost 20 years later, Mike (now played by Matthew Perry) finds his glory days are decidedly behind him. His family is distant from him, and he ends up living with his best friend (Thomas Lennon) from high school, expecting to find himself in court facing his wife in a divorce trial. After an encounter with a janitor from his old high school, O'Donnell finds himself transformed into himself at age 17. Deciding how to fix his current dilemma, he decides to enroll back in school and create closer bonds with his children and wife.

Before viewing "17 Again" I thought it was going be stupid, but it turned out to be a pretty good movie because it was a wholesome film filled with teenage issues that would suit the entire family. But one of the things I did not like about the film was how Mike O'Donnell transformed into his teenage self. I thought there was going to be a more creative way of how it happened but no. He just falls in a watery vortex. Another thing I didn't like about the film is how it stereotyped teenagers as text machines and too plugged into their electronic devices to notice anything around them. It doesn't display a good image about this generation, and makes us seem uncaring about our futures and what lies ahead.

One thing I did enjoy about the film was the choice of dialogue that made the story more humorous. I also liked the deeper message the plot implies, such as leaving your life in the past, and breaking down barriers for the future. Overall, "17 Again" (rated PG-13 for language, some sexual material and teen partying) is a good movie. One that would be appropriate to see with the family.


Read on for a female teen perspective on the film...

By Janeane White

"17 Again" is a movie about a guy named Mike who had his whole life ahead of him and turned it down so that he could take care of the one he loved. It starts off when Mike is seventeen and in high school. He gets news that his girlfriend is pregnant so he marries her, has two children, and years later they are getting a divorce. After returning to high school and meeting a mysterious janitor, Mike is miraculously transformed into his 17-year-old self to revisit his past and to remind him of the love he has for his family. Through Mike's adventure he learns about his children and becomes closer to them and then, eventually, he is able to make his wife fall in love with him again.

I liked this movie a lot. It wasn't boring and was actually quite entertaining. Some of the scenes were really funny because they were awkward like when Mike (called Mark when he's a teen) in his teenage body hugs Scarlet and his son Alex in a group hug and Scarlet says, "Mark that is super inappropriate." Another thing that was funny was at the end his daughter started to hit on him and he does everything he can to get away from her. I also loved that his best friend was the nerd of the high school, and is still a nerd as an adult. His room is filled with action figures and stuff that you can find in comics and other sci-fi themes. He dresses funny and isn't exactly smooth when it comes to the ladies.

"17 Again" can teach people valuable lessons. It teaches people that we always take stuff for granted and that we aren't always sure of what we really want. Another thing is that we don't know how much we care about stuff and people until it's gone. This poor guy thought his life was going to hell and everything was falling apart when all he needed was to open his eyes and have another look at what he really has.

--Nick Alva and Janeane White are seniors at Mount Miguel High School.