The entries in the Morbid Curiosity Files are a lot like greatness. I don’t mean they’re good, let alone great; I mean that like greatness, there are a number of ways they can come about. Some are “born”, found at random, and catch my attention. Some are achieved, ones I learned about and deliberately sought out because I just had to know. And still others, a very few, are thrust upon me. 17 Again is one such film. I never had any intention of seeing it. If I had come across it at random, as an offering on Hulu or on TV, I would have shook my head and passed it by. But it was given to me, as noted previously, by Flixster. It’s now a permanent part of my UltraViolet collection, whether I want it or not. And since it’s there, I figured I might as well take a look. This is not to say my optimism was ever engaged, however.
The film, released in 2009, and directed by Burr Steers, stars Zac Efron as the young version of main character Mike O’Donnell. This right away raises the question of just who the film was made for. At the time, Efron was largely known for High School Musical, so on that basis one would expect the film’s target market to be girls in their early teens. And yet the themes of the film are about regret, making up for lost chances, and the responsibilities of fatherhood; these themes, particularly that last one, aren’t exactly aimed at young women. Continue reading