I don’t know about you, but Matthew Perry isn’t exactly the main reason why I’ll go see forthcoming comedy 17 Again, scheduled for release in April 2009, and whose trailer was unveiled this week. As anyone who ever caught an episode of Friends would know, the man is actually capable of being quite funny, but I’m prettyy sure he will add almost nothing to the success or fiasco of this particular movie. One thing is that his movies so far have all been painfully bad (Almost Heroes, Fools Rush In, Three To Tango etc.), but more importantly of course, he’ll be absolutely overshadowed by his co-star Zac Efron, who, in a deeply cliched but no less disturbing twist, is set to play a younger version of Perry’s character, hence the title. New Line is banking on Efron, and it’s likely to be a wise move, because people like me are gonna give them our money.
But why, then, does it take so long for Efron take center stage in the trailer? Had I not known better, I would have assumed that this in fact was a Matthew Perry comedy, and not the new movie with the world’s most popular young male. The opening seconds of friendly banter between Perry and one I assume to be his best friend almost had me running screaming out of the room, and when we got to the point where Perry is time-shifted 20 years back in time, I had practically lost all hope in Hollywood. It took a full 50 – fifty! – seconds before Efron turned up. Will everyone be as patient as me?
When he’s finally there, though, there’s nothing wrong with him. Once you forget about the fact that he’s supposed to be a young version of Matthew Perry – and that the setup of the movie sounds a little too much like a male version of the horrible Freaky Friday, that starred Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis, – he’s as hot as ever And he even passes the ball around a little (He’s back in the game, as the narrator says, self-referentially). However, to keep ‘soft’ Efronites like me interested, it was probably not a bad move to throw Hunter Parrish into the mix alongside him. A double dose of earth-shattering sexiness should make this surely otherwise dreadful movie easier to bear. Parrish said, when promoting Spring Awakening, that he and Zac know each other and that he could possibly have been in Zac’s shoes right now, since he actually auditioned for High School Musical. It should be, erm, interesting to see them do something (like, y’know, acting) together. I already foresee an incredibly close fight for the Sexiest Male honors next April, if you know what I mean.