17 Again Parent Guide
Considering its focus on spending time with your kids and saving your marriage (coupled with a few good laughs), the points in favor for this flick may still outweigh the penalties.
Parent Movie Review
Take the Frank Capra classic It’s A Wonderful Life and toss in the awkward mother-son attraction from Back to the Future and you’ll have a good idea of what to expect from 17 Again.
Opening in the late 1980s, senior Mike O’Donnell (played as a teenager by Zac Efron) is the basketball star of his Los Angeles high school. Able to swoosh three-pointers with ease, the young athlete is a first-pick for scouts looking to hand out a full college scholarship. Unfortunately, just at the point where he needs to show his stuff in the season’s final game, his girlfriend Scarlett (Allison Miller) reluctantly admits she is pregnant with his child. This news more than takes the bounce out of Mike’s moves and he pledges to leave his dreams behind to be the best father possible.
Moving ahead twenty years, we learn things haven’t gone very well. Working as a sales rep for a pharmaceutical company, Mike (now played by Matthew Perry) continually verbalizes his regrets for not going to college and pursuing his basketball goals. All his complaining has left Scarlett (Leslie Mann) frustrated, tired and wanting a divorce. Crushed by her decision, and desperately wanting to continue seeing his teenaged children, Mike desperately wishes he could do it all over again. Thankfully, he lives in "Movieland" where such dreams can come true.
After a brush with a mysterious janitor at his old high school (that his kids are now attending) the super-shooter suddenly finds himself seventeen again and back in action both on and off the court. Even better, his picked on son and sexually promiscuous daughter don’t recognize their adolescent father, giving him an opportunity to see life from their perspective. Yet Mike’s desire to fix the relationship with his wife is complicated when his 20 years of additional wisdom combined with his Zac Efron-like looks make him an attractive target for his female classmates. This is especially true after he turns down a selection of condoms in sex-ed class and vocalizes his beliefs that sex should be shared only with someone you truly love and perhaps waiting until marriage is best. His problems get even bigger when his sensitive nature begins to solicit the romantic interest of his own daughter.
Messages about abstinence and Mike’s desire to make his marriage work, as a teen and again as an adult, are admirable lessons not found in many movies. However parents may struggle with the film’s other content. This includes some sexual discussions and innuendo, the use of fists to solve conflicts, and a couple of awkward moments between a teen daughter and her (very uncomfortable) teen father. There are also depictions of imitating a police officer and teen drinking, as well as the use of a smattering of sexual terms and profanities.
17 Again certainly reminds us that even if we could go back and try to fix past mistakes, we would likely only make things worse. Considering its focus on spending time with your kids and saving your marriage (coupled with a few good laughs), the points in favor for this flick may still outweigh the penalties.Starring Zac Efron, Matthew Perry, Leslie Mann. Running time: 101 minutes. Theatrical release April 17, 2009. Updated July 25, 2016
Rating & Content Info
Why is 17 Again rated PG-13? 17 Again is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for language, some sexual material and teen partying.
Sexual content in this film will likely be the greatest concern for parents. However some positive messages are extolled after an adult, who is given the opportunity to be 17 again, recognizes and begins to teach about the role of sex and the importance of waiting until you are married. A teen girl decides to leave her boyfriend when he asks for sex. Frequent sexual innuendo and discussions about pregnancy are heard often between teen characters. A man, who has been transformed into a teen boy, makes sexual advances toward his wife (she doesnt recognize him as being her husband). A teen girl makes advances toward a teen boy, not recognizing he is her father. Men engage in a fight using swords and other medieval implements. A teen boy is slapped multiple times. Teens bully a boy and engage in fistfights. Men use a red light to imitate a police officer and drive through traffic. Crude anatomical terms are used, along with derogatory sexual language relating to older women. Infrequent mild profanities and terms of deity are used as expletives. Teen drinking depicted at a house party.
Page last updated July 25, 2016
More parents' guide for 17 Again after the break...
17 Again Parents' Guide
A teacher in this movie says, Asking high school seniors to be abstinent is like asking a porcupine to poop goat cheese. Do you agree with this statement? Do you think adults attitudes toward teen sexuality affect their decisions to engage in sexual behavior? How have adult attitudes about teen sexuality changed in the past few decades?
In the movie, Mike has to become a teenager again before he is able to talk to his kids about sex. Is it possible for parents to have frank discussions with their children despite their age differences? Why are movie depictions of these kinds of conversations so rare?
The most recent home video release of 17 Again movie is August 11, 2009. Here are some details…
Release Date: 11 August 2009
17 Again releases on DVD with audio tracks in Dolby Digital 5.1 (English) and subtitles in English and Spanish. The disc includes both wide and full screen versions of the movie.
But if you really want to relive this film, the 3-Disc Blu-ray edition, which comes with a bonus DVD copy of 17 Again, offers a lot more movie memorabilia, such as:
- Featurettes: Zac Goes Back, Going Back To 17, Way Cool Tell All Trivia Track, Breakin Character Outtakes, Zacs Dance Flashback, Zac Attacks and Tom Lennon & Melora Hardin Unfiltered.
- Interactive Features: BD Live Media Center
- Digital copy of the movie.
Related home video titles:
In the opposite scenario, a young girl wishes she could skip the problems associated with adolescences and finds herself 13 Going On 30. A mother and daughter experience the generation gap from each other’s perspective when they swap bodies in Freaky Friday. Actor Zac Efron will be familiar to teen audiences from his performances in High School Musical, High School Musical 2 and High School Musical 3:Senior Year.