Zac Efron expands repertoire

Sara Schlueter

Zac Efron, star of the film “17 Again” makes one of his first big movies that was supposed to stray away from the preteen High School Musical feel that skyrocketed him into the spotlight. The first scene however is of a young Mike O’Donnell (Efron) in 1989, wearing a basketball uniform, and of course shedding the top to the delight of hundreds of adoring female fans. (Sound familiar?)

Even though Efron plays the basketball star, the movie is nothing like what the typical High School Musical fan would have expected. Matthew Perry plays Mike O’Donnell the main character of the movie Mike O’ Donnell as a thirty-seven year old father and husband to his high school sweetheart Scarlett (Leslie Mann). The movie focuses on how O’ Donnell wants to relive the best years of his life, so he falls into a highly unrealistic whirlpool that changes him to be seventeen.

The comedy of the film comes through in O’Donnell’s best friend Ned (Thomas Lennon) who is a huge Star Trek fan but also is a mega millionaire. Ned has the most awkward and sometimes uncomfortable scenes in the movie, but the absurdity of the character really adds to the movie overall and provides many laughs.

As O’Donnell relives being seventeen again, he is able to find out what his two kids’ lives are really like and what he has missed out on. The movie deals with the various issues that his kids face in high school and that teenage kids can relate to such as bullying and relationships. The topic matter, however, deals with subjects that are not suitable for the preteen fans of Efron who flocked to the theaters to see him as a Disney Star.

Some of the most touching moments in the movie are when the young O’Donnell comforts his daughter as she deals with the break-up of her boyfriend. The movie makes the young teenage fans wish that guys were like Mike O’Donnell in real life as he tries to get the teen girls at the high school to respect themselves and as he acts more like a father than a immature high school guy.

“17 Again” is a great film to see with your friends if you are in the mood for a comedy, but it has truly emotional moments as well. Although to some people who watch the movie it may seem as though all Zac Efron can do is play the attractive basketball jock, this movie helps to show his true comedic side, without the singing.