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17 Again This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


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Sorry, girls, but your favorite “High School Musical” star can't sing and dance his way through life forever. But don't feel bad – he'll still be dribbling basketballs in “17 Again,” as well as doing a little dance in the opening bit. In this comedy flick, Zac Efron portrays Mike O'Donnell, who has the humorous yet touching experience of being a 17-year-old again.

The movie begins in 1989, when Mike is 17 and on the brink of adulthood. He's handsome and talented and has a steady girlfriend. His coach tells him that a scout is attending his basketball game, and if Mike plays his best, a full scholarship could be his. Then his girlfriend tells him she's pregnant. Mike throws away his chances for a scholarship and marries Scarlet.

Twenty years later, 37-year-old Mike (played by Matthew Perry) is in a bad place. He's had the same job for 16 years – without a promotion. Scarlet (Leslie Mann) has filed for divorce and kept the house. Their two kids, Alex (Sterling Knight) and Maggie (Michelle Trachtenberg), completely ignore him. Mike stays with Ned (Thomas Lennon), a millionaire video-game-obsessed nerd who has been his best friend since high school. After a particularly bad day at work, Mike visits his old school and meets an odd janitor. While driving home, he is transformed into his 17-year-old self again.

Under the fake name of Mark Gold, he enrolls in high school to live his life over and undo the mistakes he made. He tries to help his kids with their problems – whether they like it or not. Meanwhile, Mike hangs out at their home, helping Scarlet with the garden she's redesigning. Mike is faced with difficult choices nearly identical to those he made 20 years before.

This movie highlights the conflicts that come with acting responsibly. It also shows the problem of peer pressure in our schools. Teenagers are pressured into having sex, and perfectly nice girls get dumped by boyfriends for abstaining.

Trust me, you won't regret seeing this movie. Almost every scene, besides the touching ones, has comic relief. Lennon deserves special recognition for his portrayal as Ned, the eccentric Lord of the Rings fan.

What surprised me most was Efron. I expected his transition to a more mature role to be bumpy, but with this movie he gracefully steps away from the “HSM” franchise and delivers an outstanding performance. Despite the lack of song and dance numbers, Efron is entertaining as a 37-year-old in a teenage body. He convincingly captures a grown man's surprise at the new popular trends. I especially enjoyed the scene that promotes sexual abstinence, which results in him being marked as a weirdo for his old-fashioned beliefs.

“17 Again” is a gripping family movie that will excite and entertain both adults and children.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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This article has 3 comments. Post your own!

kellydana said...
Sept. 24, 2009 at 7:17 pm:
This article is very accurate to what happens in the movie. This movie is one of my favorites and reading this makes me wanna see it again! It says "Almost ever scene, besides the touching ones, has comic relief." This is very true because it is a hilarious movie but has some very intense scenes. Some of the things in this movie is real problems that teenagers have. For example, his girl friend gets pregnant and decides to marry her to young. "Mike throws away his chances for a sc... (more »)
 
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LaylaViolet said...
Sept. 24, 2009 at 12:00 pm:
I agree with stotlers. I loved this movie. It felt so real and heart-warming. Zac Efron really shined here. And the guy that plays Ned--what's his name?--is so freaking hilarious.
 
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stotlers said...
Sept. 23, 2009 at 11:37 am:
This is really well written! It's very accurate. I've seen the movie and this is a great summery. As a class assignment we have to comment on a topic we decide on and point out a grammar error or two. The only mistake I have seen through this review is that you did not write out numbers 0-99. In professional writing you must write out all numbers from 0-99 unless it is a title. For instance, "16 years" should be "sixteen years". Other than that great job!
 
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