17 Again (film)

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This article is about the 2009 film. For the 2000 Showtime film, see Seventeen Again.
Not to be confused with 18 Again!.
17 Again
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Burr Steers
Produced by Adam Shankman
Jennifer Gibgot
Written by Jason Filardi
Starring Zac Efron
Leslie Mann
Thomas Lennon
Michelle Trachtenberg
Matthew Perry
Sterling Knight
Music by Rolfe Kent
Cinematography Tim Suhrstedt
Edited by Padraic McKinley
Distributed by New Line Cinema1
Release dates
  • April 17, 2009 (2009-04-17)
Running time
105 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million[1]
Box office $136.3 million[2]

17 Again is a 2009 American comedy film directed by Burr Steers. The film follows 37-year-old Mike (Matthew Perry) who becomes a 17-year-old boy (Zac Efron) after a chance accident. The film also features Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon and Michelle Trachtenberg in supporting roles. The film was released in the United States on April 17, 2009.


In 1989, seventeen-year-old Mike O'Donnell (Zac Efron) learns during the start of his high school championship basketball game that his girlfriend Scarlet Porter (Allison Miller) is pregnant. Moments after the game begins, he leaves the game and goes after Scarlet, abandoning his hopes of going to college and becoming a professional basketball player.

Two decades later, Mike (Matthew Perry), now thirty-seven years old, finds his life stalled. Scarlet (Leslie Mann), now his wife and mother of their two children, has separated from him due to him blaming her for his regrets about abandoning his future, forcing him to move in with his geeky, yet extremely wealthy, best friend since high school, Ned Gold (Thomas Lennon). At his job, there comes another reason for his frustration: due to his lack of higher education and since he is significantly older than most of his co-workers, he is passed over for a promotion he deserves in favor of a much younger worker. He quits his job and his high school-age children, seventeen-year-old Maggie (Michelle Trachtenberg) and sixteen-year-old Alex (Sterling Knight) want nothing to do with him. Later, while visiting his high school to reminisce, an encounter with a mysterious janitor (Brian Doyle-Murray) transforms Mike back into his seventeen-year-old self.

Mike then enrolls in high school posing as Mark Gold, Ned's son, and plans to go to college with a basketball scholarship. As he befriends his bullied son and discovers that his daughter has a boyfriend, Stan (Hunter Parrish), who does not respect her and frequently torments Alex, Mike comes to believe that his mission is to help them. He meets Stan, the captain of the basketball team, and embarrasses him in front of the whole school after Stan insults Alex. Later, in Sex Education class while the teacher is handing out condoms to the students in a basket, Stan turns to Mike and refuses to give him any, saying that he does not need them, causing quiet laughter among the class. Mike then makes a speech about love and sex in front of the whole class for Maggie's benefit, causing all of the girls to give back their condoms. Stan then takes the condoms claiming that he is stocked up for the weekend and kisses Maggie passionately. Because of this, Mike loses his temper and starts a fight with Stan on the floor, which is being taped by other students and eventually goes viral within a matter of minutes. Mike loses the fight and Ned is called up to the school.

Mike comforts Maggie when Stan dumps her after she refuses to sleep with him. With Mike's help, Alex overcomes Stan's bullying to obtain a place with Mike on the basketball team and the girlfriend he desires.

Through their children, Mike spends time with Scarlet, who is attracted to his remarkable resemblance to her husband in high school. Mike has difficulty resisting his desire for her despite the relationship's clear inappropriateness. Mostly Scarlett usually turns down his attractions, because of his youthful appearances. At the same time, he must fend off Maggie's sexual advances.

Mike soon realizes that Scarlet is the best thing that ever happened to him and finally realizes that his own selfishness has driven his family away. He tries to re-unite with her, briefly forgetting his young form and kisses her during a party, in front of Maggie and other girls, and unsuccessfully explains to her that he is actually her husband. On the day of the court hearing to finalize Scarlet and Mike's divorce, Mike makes one last attempt to win her back (as Mark) by reading a supposed letter from Mike. He states that although he couldn't set things right in the beginning of his life, it doesn't extinguish the fact that he still loves her. He also explains that even though he still wants to be with her, he should let her move on. After he exits, Scarlet notices that the "letter" is actually the directions to the courtroom and she begins to grow curious. As a result, she postpones the divorce by a month. During a high school basketball game, Mike reveals himself to Scarlet. As Scarlet once again runs away down the hall, Mike decides to chase her down once more, but not before handing the ball off to his son. Mike is then transformed back into his thirty-seven-year-old self, and reunites with Scarlet.

The film ends with Mike receiving the gift of a whistle from Ned in celebration of his new job as the high school's basketball coach after Coach Murphy.


  • Matthew Perry and Zac Efron as Michael "Mike" O'Donnell: Perry portrays Mike at age 37, while Efron portrays Mike at age 17 in the opening flashback to 1989 and after Mike has undergone his magical transformation.
  • Leslie Mann and Allison Miller as Scarlet Porter O'Donnell: Mike's wife and the mother of his children. Mann plays Scarlett as an adult and Miller plays the teenaged Scarlett in the opening flashback.
  • Michelle Trachtenberg as Margaret Sarah "Maggie" O'Donnell: Mike and Scarlet's daughter.
  • Sterling Knight as Alexander "Alex" O'Donnell: Mike and Scarlet's son.
  • Thomas Lennon and Tyler Steelman as Ned Gold: Mike's best friend. Lennon plays the adult Ned, while Steelman portrays Ned in the opening flashback.
  • Melora Hardin as Principal Jane Masterson: principal of the high school that Maggie, Alex and the rejuvenated Mike attend. She is also Ned's love interest.
  • Hunter Parrish as Stan: Maggie's aggressive boyfriend.
  • Jim Gaffigan as Coach Murphy: the high school basketball coach who has been there for 20 years.
  • Kat Graham, Tiya Sircar and Melissa Ordway as Jamie, Samantha and Lauren: the three girls who continually try to impress Mike.
  • Josie Loren as Nicole: the head cheerleader and Alex's crush.
  • Nicole Sullivan as Naomi: Scarlet's best friend
  • Brian Doyle-Murray as the Janitor: the magical figure or guardian angel who makes the transformation possible.


Critical response[edit]

The film received mixed reviews. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 55%, based on 142 reviews, with an average rating of 5.4/10. The site's consensus reads, "Though it uses a well-worn formula, 17 Again has just enough Zac Efron charm to result in a harmless, pleasurable teen comedy."[3] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 48 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[4]

Roger Ebert gave the film 3 stars out of 4.[5]

Box office[edit]

The film was predicted to take in around $20 million in its opening weekend.[6] Opening in 3,255 theaters in the United States and Canada, the film grossed $23,722,310 ranking #1 at the box office, with 70% of the audience consisting of young females.[7] By the end of its run, 17 Again grossed $64,167,069 in North America and $72,100,407 internationally, totaling $136,267,476 worldwide.[8]


17 Again: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Various Artists
Released April 21, 2009
Genre Soundtrack
Label New Line Records

17 Again: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was released on April 21, 2009 by New Line Records.[9]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "On My Own" by Vincent and The Villains
  2. "Can't Say No" by The Helio Sequence
  3. "L.E.S. Artistes" by Santigold
  4. "Naïve" by The Kooks
  5. "This Is Love" by Toby Lightman
  6. "You Really Wake Up the Love in Me" by The Duke Spirit
  7. "The Greatest" by Cat Power
  8. "Rich Girls" by The Virgins
  9. "This Is for Real" by Motion City Soundtrack
  10. "Drop" by Ying Yang Twins
  11. "Cherish" by Kool & The Gang
  12. "Bust a Move" by Young MC
  13. "Danger Zone" by Kenny Loggins

Additional music credits[edit]

The orchestral score was written by Rolfe Kent and orchestrated by Tony Blondal. It was recorded at Skywalker Sound


  1. ^ The film's distribution rights were transferred to Warner Bros. in 2008.


  1. ^ Fritz, Ben (April 20, 2009). "'17 Again' is No. 1 at weekend box office". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-01-20. 
  2. ^ "17 Again (2009)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  3. ^ 17 Again at Rotten Tomatoes Flixster
  4. ^ "17 Again Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More". Metacritic. CBS. 2009-04-17. Retrieved 2012-09-15. 
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger (April 15, 2009). "17 Again Movie Review & Film Summary". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ Fritz, Ben (2009-04-17). "Zac Efron and '17 Again' expected to rule box office". Los Angeles Times. 
  7. ^ McClintock, Pamela (April 19, 2009). "'17 Again' tops weekend box office". Variety. Retrieved June 13, 2014. 
  8. ^ http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=17again.htm
  9. ^ "17 Again: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Amazon.com. Archived from the original on 20 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 

External links[edit]