17 Again

Film , Comedy
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Updating the traditions of bodyswap comedy for teens weaned on ‘High School Musical’, this is light, forgettable but surprisingly well-constructed multiplex fodder. Fired from his job and on the verge of losing his family, middle-aged Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) dreams of the days when he was a high school basketball star. But when an encounter with a janitor transforms him into his 17-year-old self (a winning turn from Zac Efron, below), he finds that life as a teenager isn’t how he remembered it.

With its monochrome morality, nerds v jocks characterisation and narrative nods to John Hughes, this is so ’80s that one expects Judge Reinhold to wander in. But the leads are charming, the comedy well judged and the script, however predictable, sure-footed, playing on notions of midlife nostalgia with grace and integrity.

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday April 10 2009
Duration: 102 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Burr Steers
Screenwriter: Jason Filardi
Cast: Zac Efron
Leslie Mann
Thomas Lennon
Matthew Perry
Michelle Trachtenberg
Sterling Knight
Melora Hardin