Like 17 Again.
No, that’s partly a lie. Although AK and I did see it at the cheap-o Highland 3 during the still-scorching late afternoon yesterday, I also kind of wanted to see it because 1) most movies about teenagers have fun clothes, 2) maybe my 16-year-old mentee would see it and then I’d be, like, speaking her language (although last I checked, the movie at the top of her to-see list was Obsessed), and 3) I have a high tolerance for dumb comedies, in a way that I do not for dumb action movies.
Because of its dumb-comedy designation and its 13-year-old target demo, I tried to be patient during the scene where Mike (Matthew Perry reincarnated, sort of, in Zac Efron’s body) gets beaten ad nauseum with a variety of toy swords by his geek best friend who doesn’t recognize him. After all, I’d signed up for this.
The movie is a revival of the ‘80s body-switch genre—which is kind of meta, actually, since Mike is beaming back to his 1989 self—but I don’t think that’s an excuse for retro morality, which I didn’t sign up for so much.
Mike decides that his mission as neo-high-schooler is to help his teenage kids, and this apparently involves:
- helping his shy, nerdy son get on the basketball team and hook up with a hot cheerleader,
- convincing his daughter not to sleep with her jerky boyfriend
- and giving a very sincere speech in health class about how “making love” should be delayed until you’re ready to make babies.
Whenever Zac gave a big speech (such as the making love speech), he would throw his arms open wide, as if about to break into song. I really wish he had, because a good musical number would have gotten me through some rough times.