Saturday evening I went to see the new film “17 Again” starring Matthew Perry and heart-throb Zac Efron. Essentially Perry is a late 30-something with two teenage kids, who married his High School sweetheart but is about to get divorced. All the initial reasons why they were together, and why he gave up a promising basketball career for the girl of his dreams have been forgotten as the years passed.
Perry then meets his spirit guide who takes the form of the school janitor and who asks Perry if he wishes he could have his life over again. Perry agrees but thinks nothing more of it. Shortly afterwards when on the way back to his lodgings he stops to try to stop the janitor jumping off a bridge and falls into the river himself. It is not until he is back home muddy and wet that he sees himself in a mirror and realises that he has transformed back to his 17 year old self (Zac Efron).
There follows a series of hilarious events as Efron tries to avoid the affections of his own daughter and coaches his son to be on the basketball team. The funniest moments come when the friend that Perry/Efron is lodging with tries to date the school Principal. I won’t spoil the surprise here but suffice to say that he gets more than he bargained for. Lord of the Rings fans will appreciate the plot!
Naturally, being a ‘feel-good’ movie, everything sorts itself in the end. It was an entertaining couple of hours but not one that I would rush back to see again. The plot was simplistic but compensated for by the humour injected throughout. However, it did leave me thinking “what would I do if I could be 17 again….”.