If you're going to do the someone-magically-becomes-older-or-younger storyline, I much prefer the ones where a teen plays someone older, just because actors in their mid-30s tend to play teenagers as f*cking retards for some reason (Jennifer Garner, I love you, but 13 Going on 30 was an insult to 13-year-olds.) So 17 Again is perfect! Adorable Zac Efron, the return of Matthew Perry (who I like a lot more than I should), Thomas Lennon, Leslie Mann, Jan from The Office, Michelle Trachtenberg's pretty hair. This movie's going to be great, even if it is the most unoriginal screenplay ever. So, in the spirit of 17 Again week excitement, let's look back at a few of the films it "borrowed" from.
The commercials for this movie do it a major disservice by making it look like your average transformation Big or Freaky Friday movie starring Chandler Bing and Zac Efron. It is that, but it's also more than it appears to be on the surface. The movie is about teen basketball phenom Mike O'Donnell, who doesn't go to college because his girlfriend is pregnant and ends up 20 years later as a disgruntled pharmaceutical rep (Matthew Perry) on the verge of a divorce with two teenage kids who hate his guts. He wishes he could go back and do it over, so a magic janitor turns him into a teenager, but he stays in present day. He discovers that he's on a path to help his wife (Leslie Mann) realize that her husband isn't a total loser, and to assist his kids (Sterling Knight and Michelle Trachtenberg) in turning their lives around. There's a ridiculous number of shots of Zac Efron shirtless or playing basketball. There's obligatory near-incest moments and cougar references. There's tons of typical high-school behavior (thankfully, it's more of the Mean Girls variety and less of the High School Musical drivel). But tucked in among all of this solid, amusing, but typical A-story drama is a B-plot that really takes the entire film to a new level.
Back in the '80s, Mike had a best friend who was a nerd, the guy who was given wedgies and stuffed in lockers because he wore a wizard costume to school. But in present day, that nerdy guy is Ned Gold (played by the scene-stealing Thomas Lennon). He's gone from school nerd to king of the geeks. He invented anti-piracy music software and the software to help people steal music. He's put his infinite wealth to good use, buying every collectible and comic book out there. His house is like a movie/comic museum, and he's pretty much my hero. So below are the reasons that he elevates this movie's geek status tenfold.