16 April 2009

17 Again

Directed by: Burr Steers
Written by: Jason Filardi
Full credits at IMDb

Some unsettling borderline incest and pedophilia sequences appear in Fetishizing Zac, er, 17 Again, a middling comedy starring tenderfooted Tiger-Beater Zac Efron. In it, a deus ex machina (Brian Doyle Murray) uses nonsensical magic to restore teenagedom and Efronness to a whiny, 30-something pharmaceuticals peddler (Matthew Perry, in the laziest performance of the year), a past-his-prime wage slave with resentful children and an impending divorce. He uses his adolescence redux to infiltrate his family, in a deception-filled Doubtfire-ian scenario, in order to win back his wife (weird!) and help his children cope with the puberty years, during which his daughter falls for him (gross!).

While rejecting nostalgic regret and ambivalently embracing the imperfect present, the film crams in as many clich├ęs (and product placements) as possible, including a dramatic courtroom speech, a rowdy high school party, and a Big Game triumph. 17 Again has few distinguishing characteristics or surprises, except perhaps a serviceable supporting turn from Thomas Lennon (Reno 911!), leaving us to await impatiently the inevitable finale. Director Steers is a long, commercialized way from his previous film, 2003’s unduly popular indie Igby Goes Down.

Read the review at HX Magazine

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