Last night I had free tickets to see the sneak preview of the new thriller Obsessed. However, they overbooked the theater, so we didn’t get in. We ended up seeing 17 Again which is very entertaining, and I was glad to see a happier movie. The film is fun, and Zac Efron is absolutely adorable in it.
Efron and Matthew Perry star as Mike O’Donnell (teen and adult version). The film begins in the 1980s when Efron is a popular high school basketball star with everything going for him. He’s playing in an important basketball game with college scouts watching when his girlfriend, Scarlett, tells him she’s pregnant. He tells her that she and the baby are the only things that matter now, so they get married.
Well, we find out that almost 20 years later, he still regrets not going to college and wishes that he could relive his high school days. His wife Scarlett (Leslie Mann) has filed for divorce, and he has lost his job at a pharmaceutical company. Mike goes back to his old school to pick up his daughter Maggie (Michelle Trachtenberg) and son Alex (Sterling Knight). There he encounters a janitor/”spirit guide” who turns him back to his high school self.
Now Mike must figure out why he was sent back. His geeky best friend since high school Ned Gold (Thomas Lennon), who happens to be filthy rich, plays his dad when he enrolls in school under the name Mark. In a few particularly funny scenes Ned falls in love with the school principal, and he spends most of the film trying to win her over – he finally does because she turns out to be equally as dorky and speaks Elfin.
Mike/Mark befriends Alex and Maggie at school since they obviously don’t know he’s their dad. Alex was being picked on by the school bully, who happened to be Maggie’s boyfriend. With his dad's help, he fends off the bully and gets a girlfriend. He also steers his daughter away from her loser boyfriend. Mike even delivers a few speeches to the students on abstinence and girls respecting themselves.
Mike finally realizes that the reason he became 17 again was to help his son and daughter find their way and to get his wife back. In divorce court, "Mark" gives a sweet speech from Mike, and Efron even has to shed a few tears.