Sunday, April 19, 2009

Too Tired to Think of a Decent Post Title

I've been posting so sporadically because of a few things. New schedule, thanks to taking on a part-time day job. That requires adjustment, plus reduces available time. I'm also in one of those weird periods when I don't really have anything to say.

On Friday, I took my kid to the park and, since none of the things on my to-do list were things I could do away from the computer, I spent nearly an hour on a long, rambling, no doubt supremely dull post that I don't even want to look at now, never mind upload.

So I'll talk about 17 Again. Number One loved it, and expected to. I had lower expectations, because it's an old premise and how many different ways can they do it? But I was very surprised to love it, also.

The basic story is what you'd expect. Guy hates his life, has screwed up everything, needs a reality check, so he gets to go back to the age when he thinks (rightly so) it all went awry. There aren't really any surprises in how things proceed. But there was so much to like:

1. The funny.
I laughed constantly. The best friend, as an adult, is hilariously horrible, but his subplot is precious. The dialogue is well written and often surprising.

2. The acting.
It's mostly Zac Efron that impresses. I knew he was a good actor from Hairspray, but he channels Matthew Perry without mimicry, making certain mannerisms and faces seem totally natural. All the secondary actors do a good job, too, even when they are written superficially (the obnoxious daughter who's making supremely stupid choices, the bully who treats her like shit, etc.). Michelle Trachtenberg was only annoying for a couple of scenes.

3. The character development.
Some people will probably find it facile, but I found it refreshing, with one exception. The opening flashback scenes give us a great sense of the main character, who is a good, hard-working, ambitious guy under the cockiness and joy. He doesn't really hesitate to make the right decision. When we flash forward twenty years, we're told that he's been complaining for all of them, blaming his wife for all his failures, etc. It seems too great a gap, especially when he turns 17 again and makes the right choices.

That's the part others will likely find facile that I find refreshing. He does misinterpret this second chance at first, but very quickly figures out his path and never really strays from it.

All in all, it was well worth the matinee price we paid, and a fun time. I heartily recommend it for anyone who needs a smile.


Ava Quinn said...

So, is the new job working out? Or should I email you privately for your answer? :)

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

It's working out fine, insofar as anything that forces me to subjugate my schedule to someone else's goes. :) Thanks for asking! :)