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'17 Again'
(Zac Efron, Matthew Perry, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2009 / Warner Bros.)

Overview: Efron plays Mike, a high-school basketball star who blows a college scholarship in 1989 to marry his sweetheart. Cut to 2009, and late-30s Mike (Matthew Perry) is a sour guy passed over for a promotion and feeling estranged from that wife, Scarlett (Leslie Mann), and teen kids (Michelle Trachtenberg, Sterling Knight). Magical intervention causes Mike to turn 17 once more - albeit in the present - and tackle his failures with a fresh start.

DVD Verdict: '17 Again' is one of those half and half films--half of it is good, moral, and entertaining, and half of it is raunchy, mature in nature, and unnecessary. The plot goes something like this: Middle-aged Mike is unhappy with his life and about to get a divorce from his wife. He and his kids are like strangers to each other, even though he genuinely cares for them.

One night Mike mysteriously transports to the age of 17 in present times. He decides (with the help of his MAJOR sci-fi freak best friend) to go back to high school and help put his kids on the right path. So Mike (under the name of Mark) goes back to school and spends his time lecturing his kids about who they should date, helping them onto sports teams, or romancing their mom (who is also his wife).

Some of the funniest parts are the most awkward ones. Teenage Mike/Mark dancing with his wife (to his wife, he is just her son's friend) and being found by their son. Mike/Mark's daughter wants to start a relationship with the teenage Mike/Mark, not knowing that he is actually her dad. When he tells her that they can never be together, she at first thinks that he is gay. There is one use of the b-word and some other mild profanities. Mike/Mark's daughter has a pompous, lustful boyfriend. Mike's best friend is seen in bed (fully clothed) with the school principal (at the end of the film, right before the credits).

I was surprised at the amount of good messages in this movie. Mike (when he is actually 17 in high school sometime in the 1980's) gives up his college dreams to marry his pregnant girlfriend. When he is an adult, he strives to spend time with his kids and shows genuine interest in their lives. When he goes back to the age of 17 through the warp thing, he makes it his goal to help his kids get their lives on the right track. He speaks about abstinence to the entire Health class. He does everything he can to get his daughter's messed-up boyfriend away from her.

Without the sexual jokes and overtones, this movie would be great for kids and teens. Unfortunately, the crude humor ruins it, even if kids don't understand all of the "jokes". Zac Efron is at his best in this film and captures a sensible, struggling teenage dad very well. Don't expect it to be any funnier than you see in the previews, though. Most of the funny parts are in the previews. Overall, it was an enjoyable two hours of reliving high school. [OJ] This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.35:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Zac Goes Back
Going Back To 17
"Way Cool" Tell All Trivia Pack
Zac's Dance Flashback
Breakin' Character Outtakes
BD LIVE- Media Center
Additional Scenes
Zac Attacks
Tom Lennon and Melora Harding- Unfiltered
Bonus Digital copy of the Film