17 Again

Rated 2.0

A middle-aged family man (Matthew Perry), disgruntled at how his life has turned out, gets a chance to become his teenage self (Zac Efron) and return to high school—this time a schoolmate of his own kids (Michelle Trachtenberg, Sterling Knight), who don’t know who he really is. Writer Jason Filardi and director Burr Steers may have pitched the idea as Ferris Bueller meets It’s a Wonderful Life, or maybe just as Zac Efron’s New Movie. That would have been smarter; Efron is a real talent, beyond his teen-heartthrob looks, and he’s the movie’s main asset (Perry is pretty much limited to cameos at the beginning and end). Efron makes the most of the stale script, but there’s not that much to be made of it. Thomas Lennon plays his nerdy best friend (and stand-in “father”), Leslie Mann his estranged wife.