17 Again

I am currently watching Zac Efron in the American trash teen film, 17 Again. Having bought this affront to the film industry for a fiver at Tesco, I thought that the opportunity to watch the querilous man-boy that is Efron run around shirtless for two hours was money well spent.

I plan to blog as I watch the film, making comments each time the film becomes annoying. I suspect this will be a long, long post, as I am four minutes in and already incensed enough to have begun my online tirade.

The film opens with the teen heart-throb throwing balls into a hoop. Shirtless. Surprise, surprise. Unfortunately he looks like a doll, and as I am not an agalmatophile, that does not do anything for me. Also, the witless and painfully American dialogue (the coach even refers to the basketball team as 'jockstraps'. HOMOEROTIC SUBTEXT!) is not aided by a charmless performance by the ailing actor (actually probably in his thirties) masquerading as a young-looking 17-year-old. The absence of any form of script is evidenced by the arse-achingly clicheed choreography of the dance routine done by the cheerleaders that Efron mysteriously knows and joins in on, looking like the smug wanker he is.

At 4 minutes, Efron's girlfriend (blonde, of course) imparts some unfortunate news that we do not hear. Just as well, as the dialogue is so bad it makes my eyes bleed. What follows is an obvious shift to grey tinted camera stuff (as Efron's acting is clearly not up to conveying worry). His massive burden (probably that his bitch is pregnant with his smug doll-children) affects his basketball. But oh no! The scout is in and he has to play well in order to get a full basketball scholarship (although I resent the term 'scholarship' being used about sports). Some dramatic tension was - I think - supposed to be created as his simpering whore delayed telling him, saying 'this is your night. Go enjoy the game'. What a sensitive little slut. Efron (who, it is rumoured, has never grown pubic hair) insists she tells him - the reason seems to be that his character is wholesome, awesome, and absolutely the sort of person all stupid American girls will fall in love with immediately, due to his ceaseless conformity to good family values. Makes me sick. Will return in a mo to see if my prediction that she's pregnant (if this film actually has a twist and isn't morosely predictable I will eat my own scrotum in a hollandaise sauce) is correct...

Ah-hah! Everyone is now screaming at Efron (in slow-mo, of course) and he is looking at his girlfriend who is clutching her womb like it's just about to drop right out. Ah, the subtle nuances of this film, really, I might weep. And now the scout is shaking his head just in case the audience don't pick up on the massive pressure weighing down on Efron's (really rather sweaty) shoulders. Also, the music is so dramatic I am expecting Bambi's mother to burst on to the screen and be gunned down. Horns blaring semitones. This is so tense I might actually have a breakdown.

And now Efron, facing his responsibilities, throws the ball over his shoulder which the camera films bouncing in slo-mo as the horns still oscilate between their two notes of woe.

Then, Efron chases down his loose-moralled (and loose-cunted) girlfriend, declaring that the baby is his future. He kisses her (which is kinda sexy) and then trumpets begin a silly little fanfare leading into…

A contrasting scene. Matthew Perry of Friends fame is asleep. Then, ho-ho, he is having breakfast with a man dressed as a Vulcan. Hilarious! Then, there is the obligatory reference to American brands (in this case a cereal called ‘Cap’n Crunch’. A small joke is made about this bastion of American popular culture and the film continues where, through impeccable dialogue, it is made transparently clear that the protagonist’s life has gone to shit. I kid, you not. The lines ‘Scarlet kicking you out the house and the kids wanting nothing to do with you’ are just subtly crowbarred in there. When will America develop some sense of taste?

And – get this – Perry works for a pharmaceutical company. Nothing like American’s to glorify capitalism. I am almost expecting some form of terrible erection joke. Oh, wait, there already is! ‘Maybe a four hour erection isn’t such a bad thing.’ This is milked (pardon the expression) even further, by a woman in the office writing ‘erection – good ’ and yes, she really did do the smiley face.

Perry is expecting a promotion. The massive build up before it is announced means he won’t get it. Perry sits looking smug and making asides to those around him implying he will get it. But he won’t. Oh no.

29 minutes in. Perry has transformed into a teenager due to the wishes of his spirit guide. After a hugely illogical and unnecessary fight scene, there is now a montage of Efron clips. Mainly just him strutting round as girls lay their ovaries in lust. I hate him. What an absolute, total wanker. His car was horrible as well. So nah-nah nah-nah-nah. That told him.

At 40 minutes I have had enough. This film is too bad to watch in one go.

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