Zac Efron in 17 Again Movie
Zachary David Alexander Efron was born in Oct. 1987. He graduated from High School in 2006. He was raised and calls home near San Luis Obispo, a 70,000 small college town in the middle of central California along Highway 101, about one hour north of Santa Barbara. He has a dog and a younger brother Dylan. His first step toward acting at the age of 11 when his parents took note of his singing ability. Singing lessons soon led him to be in the production of "Gypsy" that ran 90 performances. This was followed by "Peter Pan," "Auntie Mame", "Little Shop of Horrors" and "The Music Man", guest parts quickly followed on television series, such as Firefly and even ER. His first movie in 2004, was Miracle Run. He was also in several TV pilot shows that failed. He is into skiing and snowboarding and his favorite hobbies are restoring his old Delorean and 1965 Mustang.
Zac may have appeared like an overnight sensation with this popularity in the Disney High School Musical movies (three, a fourth is being made now) but like The Beatles, he had his share of failures and hardships in getting parts for many years etc. He simply did not walk into an audition and given the part.
Middle-aged and unhappy Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) is given a second chance at life when a janitor makes him 17 again (played by Efron when younger). The movie gets off to a great start, and the story isn’t original or believable (a clever spin on “Big,” “13 Going on 30”, " Rewind") but what comes across is that Zac is a real actor and is one of the most promising young actors in Hollywood. This movie is a cute charmer that leaves you feeling good about life and family. Efron is Mike O’Donnell, a high school basketball star who’s about to be offered a college scholarship. Then it happens: His girlfriend Scarlet (Allison Miller) tells him she’s pregnant, and he chooses to skip college, marry the girl, raise kids, etc. Eighteen years later, Mike (now played by Matthew Perry) is miserable. Scarlet (Leslie Mann) is now his wife, and she hates him. The kids (Michelle Trachtenberg and Sterling Knight) ignore him and he doesn’t get the promotion he deserves at work. So Mike understandably wants a do-over with his life. That is the theme.
There are some very funny moments as Zac (who has become the young Mike O'Donnell) confronts his teenage age son and daughter on a random of teenage issues. Of course, Zac (Mike) is still in love with his soon to be ex-wife (who is 35-40) that whole arena has plenty of funny and awkward moments. All of the moments are not dirty or even R-rated, just simple things like, getting too close. Efron pulls it off. He is believable as being the father because of what and how he does things and how his kids react, also funny.
The worse scene and one not needed was the sex education scene in High School regarding having safe sex. The teacher passes out a box of condoms and pounds away at it to her pupils. Some open them up and mess around. Zac (Mike) suddenly stands up disgusted about it and rants about how he is not having sex until he is in love with someone he wants to marry.
Like many teen movies, we have the bully who preys on the weak in the lunch room. Zac (Mike) is sick of it and stands up to him verbally using cute psychology about why he is like he is. It was a great scene. Of course, Zac(Mike) becomes the star of the basketball team and this time when the agent arrives to watch him play from a college, he is not going to get distracted and change his mind. But as the movie develops, we see the same thing repeating again because of love. How people sacrifice for it. Something any adult can relate to, as one can relate to having a chance to relive a past or mistake in order to correct it etc.
What person has not had some regret about a bad decision or an event that seriously altered their life's course or path and wished they could rewind to avoid the same mistake. Plenty!
In a few scenes, Efron pulls all the stops to his acting and begins to cry, or near that, for sentimental reasons. It shows the depth of this actor because an actor must find something within them to do this in front of a movie crew of 10-15 people on the set. It shows focus and he was able to touch the audience with it. A mark of a good actor.
In the end, the movie works. My 10 yr. old loved it. Zac covers all her walls. The movie worked and it was fun and not crude like many of its genre. I liked it for the general theme and one just knows that Zac Efron is no doubt Hollywood's next leading man. He has the talent, the looks, and is very level headed about acting and Hollywood.
Rated PG-13. I give it 2.5 stars.