Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) has spent the last 20 years of his life wishing for what could have been. At 17, Mike was a budding basketball star on the cusp of landing himself a college basketball scholarship when his girlfriend, Scarlett (Allison Miller), told him she was pregnant. Mike easily decided to choose true love over his career. As he grows older, however, he starts to question the choices he made.
A freaky twist transforms Mike back to his 17-year-old self (Zac Efron). This gives him the chance to live his life over again and experience the path not chosen. With the help of his best friend, Ned (Thomas Lennon), a nerd in high school but now a billionaire, Mike tries to get back the life he thought he had lost. Along the way, he realises that he has been sent back to his past to re-evaluate what really matters and save his marriage with Scarlett (Leslie Mann). He must also help his daughter Maggie (Michelle Trachtenberg), whose boyfriend Stan (Hunter Parrish) is pressuring her to have sex with him, and his son Alex (Sterling Knight), who is being bullied.
This movie contains some violence. For example:
- In a bullying scene, a person is taped up and put in a toilet cubicle.
- There is some comedic violence, including face-slapping and throwing a basketball at a person’s head.
- Ned attacks the teenage Mike with medieval weapons including a sword.
- A man falls from a balcony.
- Stan punches and then beats the teenage Mike.
Content that may disturb children
Apart from the scenes described above, it is unlikely that this movie will scare or disturb children under eight.
There are a few scenes of physical and emotional bullying and fighting that might upset children in this age group.
Some children in this age group could also be upset by the bullying and fighting shown.
This movie contains frequent sexual innuendoes and references. For example:
- A pharmaceutical company advertises a sexual enhancer that promises a four-hour erection.
- Cheerleaders wear very short skirts that reveal their bare thighs.
- During a sex education class, condoms are poured onto a table. Stan states that he will use them all this weekend and looks at Maggie. In response, Mike makes a strong statement that teenagers should wait to have sex until they are married or ‘in love’.
- In a provocative scene, three cheerleaders ask Mike to ‘disrespect’ them while winking and rubbing their bodies against him. One says, ‘You don’t have to even remember my name’. Mike responds by giving them all a lecture on respecting themselves.
- Maggie is pressured by her boyfriend Stan to have sex with him. When she says no, he dumps her and tells people that she doesn’t ‘put out’.
- Ned says, ‘I think our hands just made a baby’.
- Scarlett and Mike get pregnant at 17.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie contains some use of substances. For example:
- Alcohol is served at a teen party.
- Stan is drunk at the teen party.
- Stan is referred to as being ‘high’ in another scene.
- After the teen party, Stan and his friends are seen driving erratically, implying that they are driving under the influence.
- Mike as an adult in a teenager’s body goes to drink a can of beer, but his friend takes it from him saying he is too young to drink.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie contains some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- The kissing between Stan and Maggie is quite passionate. On occasions, Stan kisses quite aggressively, and his actions border on the non-consensual.
- There are several other kissing scenes, including Alex and his girlfriend having their first kiss, and Scarlett and Mike kissing as teenagers and as adults. On one occasion, the teenage Mike kisses the adult Scarlett, after which Scarlett slaps his face.
- Ned and the principal are found in bed in their underwear.
- There are many scenes of men with their shirts off and women with short skirts.
The following products are displayed or used in this movie: Coca Cola, Motorola, Pringles, Audi, American Express, Blackberry, Apple, Ed Hardy clothing, Spalding, Star Wars, Nike, Nerds lollies, Wyatt pharmaceuticals, YouTube, Beckham aftershave, Bose and Lamborghini.
This movie contains some mild to medium-level coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Although the concept of 17 Again is not new, the movie is quite enjoyable, with charismatic characters and feel-good storylines that are likely to please tween audiences in particular.
Values in this movie that you might wish to reinforce with your children include:
- the importance of appreciating what you have and making the most of it
- true love and family, and the sacrifices that can come with this
- standing up for yourself, for others and for what you believe
- being yourself and being proud of who you are.
This movie could also give you the opportunity to discuss the following attitudes and behaviours with your children:
- underage drinking and drink driving
- teenage sex and safe sex
- peer pressure.