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August 28, 2015

Those commercials for 17 Again really bother me

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 14th 2009 1:24PM
17 AgainI've been trying to figure out what bothers me about the TV commercials for the new movie 17 Again, and I finally know what it is: it's just not believable.

I know, I know, of course a movie that features a 37-year-old man somehow becoming a teenager again through some complicated process (from the previews I think it involves a whirlpool and/or lightning) isn't supposed to be gritty realism, but I'm talking about the cast members.

Matthew Perry is playing the 37-year-old version of the lead character, and when he is turned back into his 17-year-old self, he is High School Musical star and Saturday Night Live guest host Zac Efron. This doesn't make any sense.

You know why? We know what Matthew Perry looked like 20 years ago. It's not like Matthew Perry was an unknown civilian in 1989; he was appearing on television regularly. He was one of the stars of the TV shows Second Chance and Sydney and was guest-starring on such shows as Charles in Charge, Growing Pains, Silver Spoons, Highway to Heaven, and Empty Nest. He also starred on the big screen in films like A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon and She's Out of Control. Heck, even Friends started almost 16 years ago.

Maybe it's a matter of knowing what was going on in pop culture around that time because I'm getting really old, but it really stands out to me, and it sort of ruins that suspension of disbelief we're supposed to embrace for movies like this. I mean, in similar movies, like 18 Again (jeez, couldn't the new movie go for a more original title?), you believed that Charlie Schlatter was a younger George Burns because 1) you didn't know what the heck Burns looked like when he was a teenager, and 2) Schallter was unknown and did a really good job mimicing his facial moves and voice.

Of course, I can't imagine going to see 17 Again and those that will are probably too young to care, so it's just us old fogeys who are irritated.

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Didn't they make this movie with Jennifer Garner a few years ago....13 Going on 30???

April 16 2009 at 2:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The last concern I have regarding this movie is whether Efron looks like a young Matthew Perry.

April 15 2009 at 10:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

There are actually a couple of moments in the trailer where Efron does a pretty decent Matthew Perry impression. I'll admit, I'm curious about this movie just because I like to see how two actors perform the same role and usually with these age-changing movies it's an adult actor acting like a kid (13 going on 30, Big, any parent-child body swap movie).

I do agree it is always pretty funny/odd to see a different person playing the younger version of an actor that we have actually seen at that age. I remember thinking how odd it was to see a kid playing young Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins and remembering seeing Christian Bale at that age in Empire of the Sun.

April 15 2009 at 4:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

this is NOT a disney movie. sheesh, get your facts right people.

April 15 2009 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Stupid looking movie... but what are you suggesting Bob? They couldn't exactly use the actual 17-year-old Matthew Perry to play the younger version. I don't understand your inane rant. Hate to break down the fourth wall for you but if they had used an unknown for Perry's role--Effron still wouldn't be a younger version of him--two whole different people. If you are going to waste your time with idiocy like this film try bringing in a slight bit of suspension of disbelief into the theater with you.

April 15 2009 at 10:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
eric f

why is it that the first impression I get from this movie is that it's about and older guy who turns 17 again and bangs a bunch of high school chicks?

Seriously, though, I think it's such a joke that movies and tv series have people in their mid-late 20's playing high school kids.

April 15 2009 at 9:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ana Maria

...what bothered me is that Thomas Lennon is not mentioned as appearing in the movie...

April 15 2009 at 7:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

@Craig - I was thinking the same thing. At least a couple of other actors in the moive are recognizable (Matthew Perry and Michelle Tratchenberg) and the only actor they mention is Zac Efron. That's pretty sad for everyone else.

Haven't seen any of those High School Musical movies and I'm older than the target demographic, but I really don't see what the point to these types of storylines (like Freaky Friday, etc).

April 15 2009 at 1:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to CC's comment

They only mention Efron because this is being pushed as his "breakout" movie, the one that will launch him into Cruise/Pitt/Hanks territory. Despite the fact he's done very little to deserve it, he's Hollywood's new "it" boy and everyone else in the movie (Perry included) are just there to help prop him up, period.

April 15 2009 at 1:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This movie has been getting rave reviews -- check out rottentomatoes.com and it looks like a very fun movie.

Matthew Perry, Leslie Mann and Zac Efron -- can't wait to see it this Friday

April 15 2009 at 12:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What I find funny about the marketing of this film is that Matthew Perry is barely mentioned. Ten years ago, he would have gotten top billing. Now he's you can't even find his name in the ad. Times certainly do change.

April 14 2009 at 11:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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