My Review of "17 Again"
A body swap movie that pays homage to a ton of movies from the past.
17 Again came out back in 2009. I remember seeing this movie back then and enjoying it but I wasn't too sure how it would translate to 2020. It didn't hurt that I didn't have any interest of anything that was on at the time. After watching it I noticed new things that I didn't really notice before. There are a ton of things that would probably be frowned upon today of course but I'll get to that.
This movie starts out with the main character, Mike, back in his high school days presumably at 17 years old. He's basically the star basketball player of the high school and everyone loves him. The guy seems to be a really decent guy too because he refuses to bully people and helps people out. He's even got the captain of the high school cheerleader squad as his girlfriend.
Everything takes a turn when he finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant. It looks like everything was going well for him too. There are school scouts watching him at the high school game and all of a sudden as his girlfriend is exiting the game he also leaves in the middle of the biggest game to chase after her.
I know there's a lot of logistical problems with that but it's a movie. They're trying to show that he was willing to throw everything away for her. I don't live in the United States so I don't know if scouts base all their analysis on one game. It doesn't really make sense to me because I always thought scouts don't just go to one game, they study players for a while. Why would they invest all their time and effort in one game? Whatever, we're not here for that.
Fast forward years later, we find Mike living with his best friend Net from high school. Ned is now a multi-millionaire and lives lavishly. We also find out that Mike is in the midst of a divorce from his high school sweetheart Scarlet. The couple had two children before filing for divorce.
He doesn't want to lose his wife and kids but he uses them as an excuse for why his life isn't any better than he had anticipated. Then again we soon realize that he never really finishes any of his tasks and he's living in a new age that he's not quite used to.
His character is quite relatable because we see a ton of people in this same predicament. They don't realize that the source of the problem is really them but they don't know it. It's terrible but a lot of people blame others for their own misery. Watching this we can quickly see why Scarlet is filing for divorce from him.
So Mike soon goes on a pity party because he gets axed from work after losing out on a promotion that he believes that he deserves. He goes back to his old high school to relive his past. There he is introduced to a mysterious janitor. This janitor keeps crossing his path and then one rainy night the janitor is standing on top a bridge looking to commit suicide. Mike runs out to save him but instead falls into the pool of water and awakens as the 17 year old version of himself.
He and his buddy Ned soon team up so that he can go back to school to see if he can relive his high school glory years and right the wrongs of his past. This all changes when he realizes that his kids (that go to the same high school) seem to be on unfavorable paths.
This movie has a lot of elements of old movies from the past and pays tons of homages. You can see a lot of the movie It's a Wonderful Life and even Back to the Future in this movie. In fact they have fun with some of the scenes, making them very close to famous scenes of those movies.
There's also a few cringe worthy moments in the movie. There's a relationship between Ned and the principal that would have tons of people today handing out red flags. Ned seems like a creepy stalker in this movie and at the time I guess it was accepted a lot more than it is today. This wouldn't fly today at all. Especially how he flaunts his money to correct any problem that crosses his way. I'm sure I thought it was quite hilarious back in 2009 but today I know a little better.
They also have an indigenous logo for their high school team. Today they can't get away with that. There's actually quite a few things that you'll notice in the movie that they wouldn't possibly get away with nowadays. Even small things are quite pronounced now that we know better.
Still this movie was enjoyable despite all the logistical problems and the social wrongs. The pacing was really well done and the characters were all still endearing. I was still able to enjoy this movie years after it was released but I don't know if that's nostalgia or if it's actually just an enjoyable movie. I think it's just an enjoyable movie.
Overall, there's still a lot to enjoy in this movie. It's quite relatable because there's a ton of us who wished they knew what would have been if they were able to relive the past. In this case he doesn't really relive his past but was able to see what it was like to be young again. I have to give this movie a 7 out of 10 because I was able to enjoy it again after multiple viewings.