17 Again
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17 Again is a 2009 American teen fantasy comedy film directed by Burr Steers. The film follows a 37-year-old man named Mike (Matthew Perry) who becomes his 17-year-old self (Zac Efron) after a chance accident. The film also stars Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon, Michelle Trachtenberg, Melora Hardin and Sterling Knight in supporting roles. The film was released in the United States on April 17, 2009. It received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $139 million.


In 1989, 17-year-old star athlete Mike O Donnell s girlfriend Scarlet Porter tells him that she is pregnant, just moments before his likely scholarship-clinching high-school championship basketball game. Mike plays the first few seconds of the game, then walks off the court and goes after Scarlet, abandoning his hopes of going to college and achieving a career that could support their future. Twenty years later, 37-year-old Mike finds his life stagnant and boring, abandoning any project he starts. Scarlet, now his wife and mother of their two children, has filed for divorce, forcing him to move in with his geeky, yet extremely wealthy, best friend, Ned Gold. He has quit his job after he is passed over for a promotion he believed he deserves, and his high-school-age kids, 18-year-old Maggie and 16-year-old Alex, want nothing to do with him. Later, while driving, an encounter on a bridge with a janitor transforms Mike back into his 17-year-old self.

After convincing Ned of his identity, Ned believes that Mike s transformation was caused by a mystical spirit guide who is trying to steer him on a better path. Mike enrolls in high school posing as Mark Gold, Ned s son, and plans to go to college on a basketball scholarship. As he befriends his bullied son and discovers that his daughter has a boyfriend, Stan, who does not respect her and frequently torments Alex, Mike comes to believe that his mission is to help them.

Through their kids, Mike spends time with Scarlet, who notes his remarkable resemblance to her husband, but rationalizes it as an odd coincidence. Deciding to also try and fix his relationship with Scarlet, Mike begins to finish (under the pretense of getting volunteer credit ) all of the garden projects he abandoned as an adult. He does his best to separate Stan and Maggie while also encouraging Alex to be more confident so he can make the basketball team and go out with a girl he has a crush on named Nicole. Mike has difficulty resisting his desire for Scarlet despite the relationship s clear inappropriateness. Ned, meanwhile, begins to pursue the school s principal Jane Masterson through increasingly extravagant stunts in order to win her affections, which she adamantly rebukes, though she agrees to a date after he offers to buy laptops for the school.

On their date, Jane is completely unimpressed with Ned until he drops the sophisticated rich-guy persona and admits he is actually a geek. Jane then reveals her own enthusiasm for geek culture by speaking to him in Elvish, and the two hit it off. Mike throws a party to celebrate a basketball game win at Ned s house while Ned is out with Jane, where he confronts Stan, who had recently dumped Maggie for not sleeping with him. Mike gets knocked out and wakes up to Maggie trying to seduce him. Mike tells his daughter that he is in love with someone else and Maggie leaves, much to Mike s relief. Scarlet arrives at the party worried about her kids attending, but Mike shows her that Alex has finally managed to get together with his crush. The two have an intimate conversation where Mike, caught up in the moment, tries to kiss her. Disgusted, she storms off as Mike tries unsuccessfully to explain his true identity.

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 change the fact that he still loves her. 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. Frustrated that he could not salvage his marriage, Mike decides to once again pursue a scholarship and move on with a new life. During a high school basketball game, Mike reveals himself to Scarlet. As Scarlet runs away, Mike decides to chase her down, just like he did in 1989, but not before handing the ball off to his son. Mike is then transformed back into his 37-year-old self, and happily reunites with Scarlet, saying that she was the best decision he ever made.

As Mike prepares for his first day as the new basketball coach at his kids school, Ned, who has successfully started a relationship with Jane, gifts him a whistle, both happy with their new starts in life.


  • Matthew Perry/Zac Efron as Mike O Donnell/Mark Gold: Perry portrays Mike at age 37, while Efron portrays Mike at age 17 in the opening flashback from 1989 and after Mike has undergone his magical transformation into posing as Mark Gold, son of his future friend Ned.
  • Leslie Mann/Allison Miller as Scarlet O Donnell: Mike s soon-to-be former wife and the mother of his children. Mann plays Scarlet as an adult and Miller plays Scarlet as a teen in the opening flashback from 1989.
  • Thomas Lennon/Tyler Steelman as Ned Gold: Mike s best friend. Lennon plays the adult Ned, while Steelman portrays Ned in the opening flashback from 1989.
  • Michelle Trachtenberg as Margaret Sarah Maggie O Donnell: Mike and Scarlet s 18-year-old daughter. Her conception was the reason Mike chose to abandon his dreams and marry Scarlet. She dates Stan.
  • Sterling Knight as Alex O Donnell: Mike and Scarlet s 16-year-old son. He is harshly abused by Stan.
  • Melora Hardin as Principal Jane Masterson: principal of the high school that Mike, Scarlet and Ned used to attend, and Maggie, Alex and Mark currently attends. She is also Ned s love interest.
  • Hunter Parrish as Stan: Maggie s aggressive and toxic boyfriend who bullies Alex even in his house.
  • Nicole Sullivan as Naomi (pronounced Nay-o-me ): Scarlet s best friend
  • Kat Graham, Tiya Sircar and Melissa Ordway as Jamie, Samantha and Lauren: the three girls who are friends with Maggie, and constantly trying to flirt with Mark .
  • Brian Doyle-Murray as Janitor: the magical spirit guide who makes the transformation possible.
  • Josie Loren as Nicole: the head cheerleader and Alex s crush.
  • Jim Gaffigan as Coach Murphy: the high school basketball coach who has been there for 20 years.
  • Margaret Cho as Mrs. Dell: a teacher


Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 56% based on 149 reviews, with an average rating of 5.40/10. The site s critics 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. On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 48 out of 100, based on reviews from 27 critics, indicating mixed or average reviews . Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of A− on an A+ to F scale.

Roger Ebert gave the film 3 stars out of 4, writing: 17 Again is pleasant, harmless PG-13 entertainment, with a plot a little more surprising and acting a little better than I expected. Justin Chang of Variety wrote: Zac Efron s squeaky-clean tweener-bait profile is unlikely to be threatened by 17 Again, an energetic but earthbound comic fantasy that borrows a few moves, if little inspiration, from Big and It s a Wonderful Life.

Box office

The film was projected to take in around $20 million in its opening weekend. Opening in 3,255 theaters in the United States and Canada, the film grossed $23.7 million ranking #1 at the box office, with 70% of the audience consisting of young females. By the end of its run, 17 Again grossed $64.2 million in North America and $72.1 million internationally, totaling $136.3 million worldwide.


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

Track listing

Additional music credits

  • Kid by The Pretenders
  • Nookie by Limp Bizkit
  • The Underdog by Spoon
  • High School Never Ends by Bowling for Soup (Used in movie trailer/commercial)
  • Push It Fergasonic (DJ Axel Mashup) by Fergie, Salt-n-Pepa, JJ Fad

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


A South Korean television series titled 18 Again based on the film aired on JTBC from September 21 to November 10, 2020.

Year 2009
ReleaseDate 2009-04-17
RuntimeMins 102
RuntimeStr 1h 42min
Plot Mike O’Donnell is ungrateful for how his life turned out. He gets a chance to rewrite his life when he tried to save a janitor near a bridge and jumped after him into a time vortex.
Awards Awards, 3 wins & 5 nominations
Directors Burr Steers
Writers Jason Filardi
Stars Zac Efron, Matthew Perry, Leslie Mann
Produced by Jason Barrett,Toby Emmerich,Jennifer Gibgot,Keith Goldberg,Mark Kaufman,Adam Shankman,Dara Weintraub
Music by Rolfe Kent
Cinematography by Tim Suhrstedt
Film Editing by Padraic McKinley
Casting By Lisa Beach,Sarah Katzman
Production Design by Garreth Stover
Art Direction by Tom Reta
Set Decoration by Natalie Pope
Costume Design by Pamela Withers Chilton
Makeup Department Donna J. Anderson,Cheryl Eckert,Kim M. Ferry,Kim Greene,Stacy Halax,Amy Harmon,Heather Koontz,Marie Larkin,Amy Lederman,Edward Morrison,Jamie Taylor Smith,Rita Troy,Erin Wooldridge,Melissa Yonkey
Production Management Gina Fortunato,Erik Holmberg,Frank Salvino,Dara Weintraub
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Efrain Cortes,Peter Dress,Adam Ben Frank,Jessica Lowrey,David Mendoza,Lisa M. Rowe,Lisa C. Satriano
Art Department Alan Alvarado,Jeff Barnett,Tom Benardello,Michael R. Blaich,Chris Brewster,Allen Brostowicz,Lorrie Campbell,Randy L. Childs,Skip Crank,Monica Fedrick,Neil Garland,Edward A. Giron,Greg Gootsan,Darryl Henley,Karen Higgins,Mats Holmberg,Gary Isbell,Steven Kissick,Jennifer Moller,Charlie Nicholson,Roger Prater,Jenny Quam,Kim Richey,Shane Sankey,Ronald F. Savini Jr.,Kenneth Sayers,Fred Seibly,Billy Sender,Michelle Spears,Casey Stoll,Robert Stover,Brian Tipton,Brett Tyler,Steven Valenzuela,Jason Vanover,Liz Wilson,Doug Anderson
Sound Department Laura Harris Atkinson,Kyle Billingsley,Barney Cabral,Rick Canelli,Steve Cantamessa,Rich Crescenti,Mark DeSimone,Frederick Howard,Kaspar Hugentobler,Thomas Jones,Michael Keller,Sanaa Kelley,Scott La Rue,Kimaree Long,Cynthia Merrill,Trevor Metz,Nick Neutra,Beauxregard Neylen,Thomas J. O Connell,Perry Robertson,John Ross,Scott Sanders,Peter Staubli,Bruce Tanis,Gary Thomas,Hugh Waddell,Kevin Zimmerman
Special Effects by Donald Myers
Visual Effects by Jennifer Avery,Alison Middaugh Barger,Andy Barrios,David Beedon,Kelly Bumbarger,Del DePierro,Mark Edwards,Cat Rowe Farquharson,Lindsay Hallett,Marla Neto Henshaw,David Jones,Chris LeDoux,Sean Looper,Philippe Majdalani,Hiroyuki Okubo,Michael Ross-Lang,Michael Taylor,Matt von Brock,Shane Christopher Wicklund,Thomas Mathai,Shuichi Suzuki
Stunts Alina Andrei,Dan Bell,Matt Berberi,Austen Brewer,Dan Brown,Mark Chadwick,Geo Corvera,Mihai Danciu,Zack Duhame,Kris Edwards,Katie Eischen,Tom Elliott,Jeremy Fry,Cody Gill,Jimmy Hart,Logan Holladay,Terry James,Craig Jensen,Robert Jones,Steve Kelso,Mandy Kowalski,Jimmy Labrie,Dan McCann,Mark McDaniels,Adam James Miller,Michael Owen,Jeff Podgurski,Dennis Scott,Ray Siegle,Lincoln Simonds,Jake Swallow,Ator Tamras,Steve Tartalia,Tyler Vogt,Webster P. Whinery Jr.,Webster Whinery,Stuart F. Wilson
Camera and Electrical Department Pete Asidilla,Matt Bardocz,Paul Birk,Clint Borden,Ethan Brannon,Robert Castillo Jr.,Eduard Chugunov,Hector Corona,Sean Patrick Crowell,Nathan Crum,Theda Cunningham,Michael Duarte,Don Duffield,Michael Enriquez,Jonathan Fischer,Alex Fleming,Carlos M. Gallardo,Chauncy Godwin,Paul Goodstein,Jeffrey Greeley,Jessie Gregson,Jose H. Huete,Chris W. Johnson,John Koth,Paul Lohr,Dwayne Lyon,W. Ted Mayer,Paul McIlvaine,Graham McPherson,Alan Morier,Michelle Pizanis,Steve Rollins,Paul Sanchez,David Schmalz,Derek Smith,Josh Stancil,Calvin Starnes,Luke Bird Stern,Al Stewart,Jason Young,Thomas Young,Chuck Zlotnick
Animation Department Gary Mau
Casting Department Charla Bowersox,Beth Lipari
Costume and Wardrobe Department Tiana Aiello,Alyssa Kim,Michelle Kurpaska,Marylou Lim,Ann Miller,Jason M. Moore,Valerie T. O Brien,Jennifer Starzyk
Editorial Department Rick J. Brown,Gary Burritt,Roland Eisinger,Tritia Espinoza,Daniel Ferry,Banner Gwin,Jason Joseph,John Potter,Matthew Woolley
Location Management Kris Bunting,Kristi Frankenheimer,Aaron Millar,Michael Shanahan,Ivan Siebel,Michael Zamboni
Music Department Kim Baum,Tony Blondal,Richard Bronskill,Paul Broucek,Stephen Coleman,Buck Damon,Audrey DeRoche,Ross DeRoche,Rolfe Kent,Janet Ketchum,Kaiulani Kimbrell,Padraic McKinley,Massimo Ruberto,Dan Savant,Erin Scully,Skywalker Symphony Orchestra,Alistair South,Nick South,Greg Townley
Script and Continuity Department Steve Gehrke
Transportation Department Rupert Cole,Eric Compton,Ken Day,J. Armin Garza II,Dave Haldeman,Margo McKay,John Orlebeck,John Siedenburg,Hector Solano,John F. Teeple
Additional Crew Sam Alvelo,Jimmy Badstibner,Cassandra Barbour,Lucie Bourgeau,Jody Braun,Lisa Breitman,J.M. Brown,Meghan Burchfield,Christopher Ciketic,Kyle Cooper,Mike Davis,Leon Dudevoir,Nora Eckstein,Angie Edgar,Ryan Faust,Damiano Fusca,Megan Galiber,Matthew J. Gannon,Emily Glatter,Mark Hochman,Galen Hooks,Jeff Hunt,Colette Kadrnka-Abramson,Adam Knapp,Sunja Knapp,Kristofer Kolpek,John C. Kruize,Tom Kuljurgis,Kelly Lane,Bao-Uy Luu,Nathan Maruccio,Jennifer Yee McDevitt,Allison Meadows,Ryan Miles,Gunnar Moulton,Travis Nicols,Justin Nordin,Rodolfo Ornelas,Vincent Parker,Laura Petersen,Joshua Ravetch,Ryan Robertson,John Semedik,Laura Sevier,Michael Simkin,Deborah Simmrin,Jamal Sims,Joe Steele,Jeffrey D. Stevens,Steve Tartalia,M. Ryan Traylor,Lisa Vijitchanton,Leslie Wahrenbrock,Nicole Waterman,Rick Whitfield,Travis Quentin Young,Scott Parker,Greg Christopher Smith
Genres Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Companies New Line Cinema, Offspring Entertainment
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating PG-13
ImDbRating 6.4
ImDbRatingVotes 200385
MetacriticRating 48
Keywords body transformation,adult as child,high school,friend,basketball