Parents' Guide to

17 Again

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

So-so comedy will amuse young Efron fans more than parents.

Movie PG-13 2009 98 minutes
17 Again Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 45 parent reviews

age 12+

Rated 12

Rated 12 for language and some sexual material
age 12+

This is worth watching to me :)

I would not let kids under the age of 12 watch this because it has plenty of sexual references and suggestiveness. This movie is really funny, but not appropriate for younger audiences that do not understand this kind of comedy. Great movie for teens :)

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (45 ):
Kids say (141 ):

Face it: We've seen this movie before. The storyline's so familiar (Big, anyone?) that it's practically its own genre -- though fine acting from the cast, especially Efron, does help 17 AGAIN rise a bit above the predictability. As the young Mike, Efron is indisputably watchable, emitting charisma from every pore. He's game, too, giving himself over to scenes that could have played tepidly and awkwardly -- Mike the teenager fending off the advances of his own daughter, who's not aware he's her dad, for example -- but generally don't. (Runner-up awards go to Mann and Thomas Lennon as older Mike's proudly nerdy friend Ned Gold.)

But good acting doesn't automatically make for a good movie, and, as directed by Burr Steers (who's helmed such deliciously subversive titles as Weeds, Big Love, and Igby Goes Down), 17 Again lacks edge. Yes, there are jokes about cougars and Lord of the Rings fanatics, but that's small potatoes. And though it's good to see Perry on the big screen again, he's woefully underused. Anyone over 12 or 13 is also likely to roll their eyes at the movie's High School Musical references (the opening, which includes glimpses of a sweat-drenched Efron shooting hoops, practically threatens a song-and-dance number). It's clearly a play for the HSM audience, but it ends up feeling like a cheap -- and unnecessary -- shot. Bottom line? Manage your expectations, and it may end up being worth the popcorn, especially for your teens.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: April 17, 2009
  • On DVD or streaming: August 11, 2009
  • Cast: Leslie Mann , Matthew Perry , Zac Efron
  • Director: Burr Steers
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: New Line
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Run time: 98 minutes
  • MPAA rating: PG-13
  • MPAA explanation: language, some sexual material and teen partying.
  • Last updated: December 3, 2023

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