"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Movie Review: 17 Again (2009)

 Hi, everyone!

What would happen if you could go back in your life and change something that happened? We’ve all wondered that and today I am reviewing a movie that discusses just that. The first time I saw this was on the eve of a friend’s 18th birthday so it was fun to reminisce about 17 while thinking about moving on to new things.

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. This is spoiler free!

17 Again (2009):
Mike O’Donnell’s life as he knew it came to a halt when he gave up everything to marry his pregnant girlfriend. Now years later they are separating. His kids hate him, work isn’t going well, and he just wishes that he had made a different decision: to keep playing basketball. He gets his wish, magically becoming 17 again. Now he is the same age as his kids and has to go to the same school as them to play basketball, with his friend Ned posing as his dad. He learns that while he has been fighting with their mom, his kids, Maggie and Alex, have been going through a lot. Can he help them avoid the bullies and pressure of peers while fulfilling his dream?
“Seems to me you guys want to live in the past.”
Comedy, Drama, Fantasy.
Length: approx. 101 minutes.
Script: 6. There are some times when names are used in vain as well as a lot of name calling. There are many inappropriate comments, but I’ll cover that more in the content section.
“Just don’t try to be funny.”
Crew: Directed by: Burr Steers. Written by: Jason Filardi.
Zac Efron as young Mike O'Donnell. 
“Okay, maybe it’s about me.”
Matthew Perry as adult Mike O'Donnell.
Leslie Mann as adult Scarlet.
Allison Miller as young Scarlet.
Thomas Lennon as adult Ned Gold.
Tyler Steelman as young Ned Gold.
Michelle Trachtenberg as Maggie.
Sterling Knight as Alex.
Hunter Parrish as Stan.
Adam Gregory as Dom.
Mario Cassem as Samir.
Katerina Graham as Jamie.
Tiya Sircar as Samantha.
Melissa Ordway as Lauren.
Melora Hardin as Principal Jane Masterson.
Brian Doyle-Murray as Janitor.
Josie Loren as Nicole.
Jim Gaffigan as Coach Murphy.
Collette Wolfe as Wendy.
Tommy Dewey as Roger.
Diana Maria Riva as Judge.
7. People aren’t wearing shirts a few times. They talk about the trends of clothing which is quite amusing.
Cinematography: 7. It was interesting how they made the switch from old to young, but other than that it is the same as most movies.
Cinematography by: Tim Suhrstedt.
: 6. It doesn’t really have a score to speak of, but there are lots of songs in the background that make up the soundtrack. They were okay, but not something I would listen to everyday. While writing this post I was listening to it and kept skipping songs.
Music by: Rolfe Kent.
Notes: There are lots of references to STAR WARS. In addition to that there are comments containing spoilers about The Lord of the Rings, so just be careful. My little sister hasn’t read those books but I don’t think she noticed.
While I was watching it I sensed that there was something off. It turned out to be a plot hole! I am good at spotting them. It says that Mike is 37 when everything starts happening. That means that 20 years have passed since he stepped out of basketball to be a father to his baby. That would mean that his daughter should be 19 or 20. WRONG. She is 17 or 18! Plot hole, ta da! He should be 34 when the story starts and have 17 years taken away to make him 17. Scarlet said 18 years, so despite everything is he only 34 or 35? Anyway, there is confusion.
: 6. The lines weren’t bad, but I just haven’t ever had the need to quote it. I know, this is such a subjective category!
“Welcome to the bottom of the food chain.”
Content: 6. Guys, I’m really conflicted on how to rate it here. It deals with some heavy stuff, but done really well. Bullying, divorce, and waiting until marriage for things, all excellently handled. It shows why it is so important to wait until you are ready to have a family because the love that you feel for your children is so special and unlike anything else. Loved that! At the same time, it contradicts it. Quite a few times. Usually with older characters *cough*NED*cough*. I didn’t approve of that because it gave the whole movie a gritty feeling that took away from the important messages. I am not amused by this kind of humor. It has really suggestive comments and some circumstances. Some inappropriate comments are called out, but others are let slide. It has lots of unnecessary mentions of body parts and gross things. “Teenager” things like partying with some drinking. Can you see my dilemma here with rating it? I’m going to stick with a 6.
9. This gets a high score because of the different messages! The concept is a well known one, which they pulled off well. It reminds me (and this isn’t a bad thing!) of What Lola Wants (1958) (more commonly known by a different name involving Yankees) which by default reminds me of Slam Dunk Ernest (1995). Also It’s A Wonderful Life (1946) in some weird ways? Oh, and 10 Things I Hate About You (1999), but maybe only because it is a teen movie.
Good For: Anyone wishing to redo the past.
Age Range: This is rated PG-13 and for good reason because of all the things that I just told you about it. I agree with that. It depends on person, though, as I would probably no have been down for it until at least 15. But, it is good for high schoolers who might be going through the same thing. It is still applicable for anyone older than that, though!
Overall Score: 6.5.
Worth watching?: Yeah, it was! I highly enjoy the messages and resolutions.
Will I watch again?: You know what, I think I will. Talking about it here has made me want to check it out again!
Bonus thoughts:
I think I mostly wrapped up my thoughts throughout, but there are a few things I want to mention. I really like Zac Efron’s acting here! He is so believable as a 37 year old guy just in a younger body. He had so much wisdom to impart and matured a lot, too. If you’re looking to expand your collection on movies about teens then this isn’t a bad place to start.

Thanks for reading everyone! What was it like for you to be 17? If you’re not that old then what are you looking forward to about that age? What is your favorite movie about teens? What about a good movie about changing the past?

Have a good evening, friends!



  1. I've seen this one around and wanted to watch it for a while. I should do so soon. Not just because Zac Efron is in it, of course.

    1. I have to admit that I only watched it because of Zac Efron but found more substance there than I thought I would! I would really like to hear your thoughts on it whenever you see it.

  2. I've never seen this movie, but I've heard of it, and I know two of the cast members (Zac Efron from High School Musical and The Greatest Showman, and Michelle Trachtenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer). This looks like a fun movie. Maybe I'll watch it sometime.

    1. Hey, I didn't know Michelle Trachtenberg was in Buffy the Vampire Slayer! McKayla, I think this would be a movie that you would really dig. I reviewed it a little late, just after it left Netflix, but if it comes back you should try it!

  3. I've meant to watch this one for awhile but I didn't actually know anything about it so this was great!

    1. I always love it when I finally learn something about a book or movie that I had heard about but didn't know the premise of, so I'm glad to be of service to you!

  4. This one always cracks me up. So funny!

    1. Yes! My sisters and I were laughing a lot which just confused my dad...

  5. I've seen this three times now, and it definitely makes me laugh. But also think. I really like the message that even our mistakes can result in good things. Like the Bible says, "You meant this for evil, but God has used it for good." And it shows that hindsight isn't always better -- you can view your past in a distorted way that makes you think things you did were better or worse than they actually were.

    I loved being seventeen -- it was a carefree year, but I also had a job, so I had enough money to go out to movies with friends and buy some clothes and books and movies for myself.

    1. I heard about it for the first time from you mentioning it, Hamlette, so thanks for the recommendation! Oh, I like what you said there! We could look at everything in our lives and say that it was a disaster that ruined everything, or we could search for the good through everything and see how our lives just get better and better. God is so good by blessing us like this!

      That's awesome! Buying books and movies plus going to the movies are some of my favorite things. I went through a lot of changes while being seventeen, but it was all for the best! I became closer to my best friend and she stuck with me through it all.

  6. Great reviewwww you are so thorough. When I try to review books or movies I’m all over the place and then I give up hehe. You have a talent. I have never seen this but I remember it being very popular. All I can say is, if I woke up as my 17 year old self I’d walk out onto the busy city streets and lay down in the middle of them during rush hour hahaha Wasn’t the best time for me, I prefer being an “adult”.

    1. Aww, miranda! You are so sweet! I tend to get way into just listing things and not making concise thoughts so I'm glad that it turned out this time! Your comment is seriously the best! Being an adult certainly has it's perks! I feel like while being 17 I was so stressed out thinking about becoming an adult, but it is way chiller than I thought it was going to be. I could've been calmer for sure, so if I became 17 again I would tell myself not to freak out over every single thing.


To comment, or not to comment? That is the question. Whatever you decide, I would love to hear from you!! I am always open to suggestions, advice, and any other comments! Even if you don't agree with me, I would love to hear from you as long as you keep the comment respectful and on subject. And, please, no swearing. I love comments on old posts!!
My computer won't let me leave comments, so it might take a few days, but I will reply!

"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles