Dick De Jong
August 20, 2009
Zac Efron is cute!
Look at that face.
"If that boy were an apple, he would be a delicious."
I've been watching teen idols come and go since Edd "Kookie" Byrnes and Ricky Nelson.
After seeing 17 Again, I can understand how Zac throbs those hearts beating in heaving adolescent chests. Who could resist the windswept peek-a-boo bangs and devil-may-care smile.
If there was any doubt that this latest version of the body-switching genre was a Zac attack vehicle, it's laid to rest immediately in the first scene of a shirtless, sweating, six-pack Zac shooting hoops and the second of a Hammer-time Zac in a spontaneous dance number with a bevy of bouncy cheerleaders.
Oh, yes. The cast also includes Matthew Perry as the hapless, 37-year old Zac. Leslie Mann plays Perry's wife, with whom the 17-again Zac tries to patch up their marriage.
Then there's the kids, including daughter Michelle Trachtenberg, (a teen dream herself), who falls for yummy Zac, but he fends her off with fatherly resolve.
And the scene stealing BFF, Thomas Lennon adds the nerd comic relief as well as acting as the pseudo father of the re-pubescent Zac, helping him make sense of his second chance situation.
There's even a nod to perhaps the most well-loved "what-if" movie, It's a Wonderful Life. 17 Again's spirit guide and janitor, Brian Doyle-Murray, jumps off a bridge, (just like Clarence, the angel in the 1946 classic), and is rescued by Perry.
In "Zac Goes Back," director, Burr Steers and the cast reveal the behind the scenes research and hilarity that went into the film. I only wish that I saw more of it on-screen.
I simply thought that the script could have been smarter. It didn't help to be reminded of what could have been by the presence of Trachtenberg, who was Buffy's younger sister (and Gossip Girl's delightfully depraved Georgina), and Zac's nemesis, Hunter Parrish, who plays the cannabis entrepreneur on the cutting edge Weeds.
If you want more of Zac dancing, the Special Features include a deleted party scene where Zac boogies to a few of the more popular 80's dance steps like the Running Man.
And for all those late bloomers in the audience, the "Going Back to 17" offers some hope as many of the ultra cool cast describe how awkward and painful high school was.
And if you want more of Zac - and who doesn't - you can hear his commentary by connecting to the Warner's online BD-Live site.
You can also pack Zac with you. The Blu-ray combo package includes a Blu-ray disc and an authorization code to access the digital copy DVD.
Studio: Warner Home Video
Director: Burr Steers
Cast: Zac Efron, Matthew Perry, Leslie Mann, Michelle Trachtenberg, Thomas Lennon, Hunter Parrish, Sterling Knight, Melora Hardin
Length: 102 minutes
Video codec: VC-1
Video resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
English: Dolby Digital TrueHD
Spanish, English SDH