17 Again Burr Steers

17 Again Burr Steers
The irksome thing about 17 Again isn't just that it's a lame retread of the whole body/age switch shtick, nor is it that Zac Efron is a bit of a boring, synthetic git, and it's not even that Burr Steers (director of Igby Goes Down) has resorted to this kind of mindless drivel. No, it's more that movies like this imply that self-centred morons are deserving of magical, revelatory journeys when alcohol addiction and other modes of self-destruction are far more appropriate. You see, Mike O'Donnell (Matthew Perry) is stuck in middle-management and a passionless marriage with the visibly frustrated Scarlett (Leslie Mann), while his kids (Michelle Trachtenberg, Sterling Knight) are drifting off into their own little worlds. Instead of recognizing that this is a result of his actions (or lack thereof) and giving thanks that his wife would put up with his pedantic ass for almost two decades, Mike mopes and whines, leading to his transformation into a 17-year-old boy (Zac Efron). Comic hi-jinks and life lessons ensue. Some amusement comes from the implication that generalized solipsism can only be modified by mystical forces, along with the creepy sexual advances that Mike's teenage daughter makes on him, post-youthful transformation, but mostly 17 Again is the sort of innocuous fare that people watch while doing dishes and feeding the pets. It's fairly harmless and keeps prepubescent girls from sending their boyfriends inappropriate cell phone pictures for an hour-or-two, which is a plus. Surprisingly, no special features are included with the DVD, which is unfortunate, as it would be highly entertaining to see Thomas Lennon's take on his horribly written comic relief character, or to see Zac Efron discuss the challenge of supposedly acting older. (Alliance)