It's been a couple weeks since I saw 17 Again. Meaning it's been a couple weeks since my friends have lost respect for me after I came home exclaiming "Call me crazy, but I may have just seen the best movie of the year." After giving it some thought, I realize now that I'm only a little crazy. It's not the best movie of the year. It's the best movie since 1989. Now now, before you go screaming "It can't be! Little Big League clearly came out after 1989," let me explain. I expected 17 Again to be a modern take on everybody's favorite 80s movie pastime: Body Switching. But this was no modern take. It was an 80s movie. Body Switching? Check. Awkward white actors awkwardly playing basketball? Check. Blonde haired bully who may as well have been played by William Zabka? Check, check. Cobra Kai? Check. Ok, well the last part's not true, but it could have been. The movie gobbled up 80s cliches at will. There were plenty of scenes that felt right out of a Michael J. Fox movie. Take the scene where Zac Efron (oozing charm and nailing Matthew Perry impressions) finds his son sitting alone in the high school cafeteria. First, he's shocked that his son's a nerd.
Then, Efron stands up to the school bully for being a tad overly-sexual with his daughter. Sound familiar? Might as well have taken place in Hill Valley circa 1985 - er, 1955. When Efron embarrassed the bully in front of the entire school, I kept wanting the son to talk about the Sci Fi novels he writes and Bully to say "Why don’t you make like a tree and get out of here." Oh Biff Tannen and your mix-em-ups. Neither of those happened. But they might as well have. When I watched this movie, I let myself suspend disbelief and was convinced it was made in 1987. And it felt good. When it was over, all I wanted to do was go home and watch Teen Wolf. (Side note - Teen Wolf has perhaps the best bully moment in any 80s movies: When the asshole on the other team stands under the basket, while a non-wolf Michael J. Fox takes the game-winning free throw. How did this refs allow this? That’s clearly a technical foul!) Anyway, if you haven’t seen 17 Again and you like lying to yourself about the decade, do yourself a favor and check it out. And more importantly, we’re due for a Teen Wolf remake. Efon will be up for it. You know Stiles will be too. I just hope that bully signs on.
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