Ned [on a date]: “Look, okay, I don’t know how to act…normal. I’m not smooth; I’m just trying to impress you. I’m a dork. I’m the kind of guy who spends ten grand on Gandalf the Grey’s quarterstaff.”
Jane: “Yes…that does make you a dork. Especially since Gandalf the Grey was only in Fellowship. He returns in Two Towers as Gandalf the WHITE.”
Unlike most of my movie reviews, I actually do have a point for writing this one so late (and by so late, I mean four years so late, because that’s how long ago this came out).
Rewind for a second back to August 27, 2009. That was my second day of high school, and it was one of my worst ones. We got lockers that day and I was almost late for the bus home because I couldn’t figure out how to open mine. That night, I did my new bits of homework and decided to watch a DVD hold that had just come in at the library.
17 Again is one of those movies I expected to watch just to pass the time. But, as it turned out, I loved it. I’ll explain why in a minute. At the end of the year, I watched it again. Now, at the start and end of every school year, I sit down and watch this movie. It’s become grounded in my traditions. And, since it’s the end of my last year of high school, I decided it was finally time to share my overdue thoughts on this movie, which I would recommend everyone watch before they start high school (kind of a makeshift companion to Twisted, the book I think everyone should read before starting high school).
For anyone not familiar with the premise of this movie: When Mike O’Donnell was seventeen, his girlfriend got pregnant, and he gave up his life to marry her. Now he’s forty, his wife is divorcing him, and his kids want nothing to do with him. But, when he gets the chance to go back to being seventeen, he takes it. He’s young again whereas everyone else stayed in the present, so now he has to go to school with his kids to help them with their social problems and somehow win back his forty-year old wife.
Kind of a weird concept, I know. When I heard “17 Again,” I assumed he would actually be going back in time. But, the movie works so much better like this.
What I loved about it: primarily, Mike’s rich best friend, Ned. If I had to pick a character who I am likely to become someday, that would be Ned. The guy has a house full of medieval nerd weapons, sleeps in a Landspeeder bed, and—in the funniest part of the movie—attacks the seventeen year old Mike with his Lightsaber collection when he thinks younger Mike is an intruder.
I also liked how the movie was funny without being crude or vulgar, like most comedies these days are. Picture the guy version of Mean Girls, minus the plethora of quotable lines. There’s only a moderate level of those in this one. But, it’s quite a bit more touching in my opinion, and in any case it’s one of those comedies that’s actually based around emotion rather than just existing to be funny (which, don’t get me wrong, I like the just-to-be-funny ones, too).
I say that anyone going into high school should watch this movie for a few reasons. For one, I watched it going in, and it gave me some kind of ego/confidence boost that’s hard to explain. Making light of a scary situation (the first day of high school) is something I really needed. Second, this movie is legitimately funny. You won’t be rolling around laughing, but in my opinion, you’ll be glad you watched it.
In Conclusion: There are a lot of high school movies out there, but this is one of the few that mixes humor and heart in just the right way.
Rate: 7 out of 10.