Director: Burr Steers
In 17 Again, which makes Xeroxes look original, Zac Efron plays a high school basketball star torn betwixt love and glory. All you need are a few catchy tunes and you’d have High School Musical 4.
The hook this time, familiar to anyone who saw Big, Freaky Friday, 13 Going on 30, Peggy Sue Got Married or innumerable other body-swap fantasies, is that the teen is an adult in disguise.
Efron’s Mike O’Donnell is the transformed version of Matthew Perry’s Mike O’Donnell, a middle-aged salesman whose life took a bad turn when he was a high school hoops star. He abandoned a championship game to run after his pregnant girlfriend (Allison Miller).
Twenty years later, Mike is about to divorce that girl and he’s got a son and daughter in high school. Enter a mysterious janitor who — presto! — magically transforms Mike back into his sleek bod of 17, allowing him either to make amends or screw things up even worse than before. Rinse and repeat.