Efron's Charm Helps Unoriginal 17 Again

High School Musical star adds life to age-old body-swap concept
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2009 8:34 AM CDT

(Newser) – The doing-your-life-over-again movie 17 Again does what its many predecessors have done over and over again, say critics, but Zac Efron runs through the clichés with charismatic charm.

  • Claudia Puig, USA Today: "Though not as clever as 13 Going on 30 or Freaky Friday, it's also not as hokey as Hannah. For a swoon-fest aimed at tweens, 17 Again has a lot going for it."

  • Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader: "The ancient body-switching premise is animated by a breezy script that briefly addresses some of its darker implications before returning to a celebration of adolescence."
  • Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle: "Efron, in his first non-singing and dancing feature film, proves he has an agreeable and kinetic screen presence, although his ability to convince us he's truly a 37-year-old encased in a 17-year-old's body is dramatically dubious."