Seventeen (17) Again

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Not recommended under 8, PG to 13 (Theme, Sex. Lang.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Seventeen (17) Again
  • a review of Seventeen (17) Again completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 9 April 2009.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Seventeen (17) Again
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild sexual references, violence and coarse language
Length: 102 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) has spent the last 20 years of his life wishing for what could have been. At 17 years of age Mike was a budding basketball star on the cusp of landing himself a college basketball scholarship when his girlfriend, Scarlett (Allison Miller), broke the news that she was pregnant.  Mike easily made the decision to choose true love over his career but as he grows older he starts to questions the choices he made.
A freaky twist gives Mike the chance to live it over again and experience the path not chosen when he is transformed back to his 17 year old self (Zac Efron). With the help of his best friend Ned (Thomas Lennon), the high-school nerd turned billionaire, Mike seeks to get back the life he thought he had lost. Along the way Mike realises that he hasn’t been sent back to his past so that he can re-live it, but so that he can re-evaluate what really matters, save his marriage with his wife Scarlett (Leslie Mann) and help his daughter Maggie (Michelle Trachtenberg) whose boyfriend Stan (Hunter Parrish) is pressuring her to have sex with him, and his son Alex (Sterling Knight) who is being bullied.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Family breakdown

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • bullying scenes where one person is taped up and put in a toilet cubicle
  • some comedic violence including face slapping, throwing a basketball at another person’s head
  • Ned attacks the teenage Mike with medieval weapons including a sword
  • a man falls from a balcony
  • Stan punches and then beats teenage Mike

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Apart from the scenes described above, it is unlikely that this film will scare or disturb children under five.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Apart from the scenes described above, it is unlikely that this film will scare or disturb children under eight.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

There are a few scenes of physical and emotional bullying and fighting that may upset children of this age.

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Some children in this age group could also be upset by the bullying and fighting shown.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Coca Cola
  • Motorola
  • Pringles
  • Audi
  • American Express
  • Blackberry
  • Apple
  • Ed Hardy Clothing
  • Spalding
  • Star Wars
  • Nike
  • Nerds lollies
  • Wyatt Pharmaceuticals
  • U-tube
  • Reference to Beckham Aftershave
  • Bose
  • Lamborghini

Sexual references

There is a high level of sexual innuendo and sexual references throughout the movie, including:

  • a pharmaceutical company advertises a sexual enhancer that promises a four hour erection
  • cheerleaders have very short skirts which reveals their bare thighs
  • during a sex education class condoms are poured onto a table. Stan states that he will use them all this weekend and looks at Maggie. In response Mike makes a strong statement that teenagers should wait to have sex until they are married or ‘in love’
  • A provocative scene where three cheerleaders ask Mike to ‘disrespect’ them whilst winking and rubbing their bodies against him. One states ‘you don’t have to even remember my name’.  Mike responds by giving them all a lecture on respecting themselves.
  • Maggie is pressured by her boyfriend Stan to have sex with him. When she says no to him he dumps her and tells people that she doesn’t ‘put out’. 
  • Ned says ‘I think our hands just made a baby’
  • Scarlett and Mike get pregnant at seventeen

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • the kissing between Stan and Maggie is quite passionate. On occasions Stan kisses quite aggressively, bordering on non-consensual
  • there are several other kissing scenes, including Alex and his girlfriend having their first kiss, Scarlett and Mike kissing as teenagers and as adults, and one occasion where Mike as a teenager kisses Scarlett as an adult, after which Scarlett slaps his face
  • Ned and the Principal are found in bed in their underwear
  • many scenes of men with their shirts off and women with short skirts.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • a teen party where alcohol is served
  • Stan is seen to be drunk at the teen party
  • Stan is referred to as being ‘high’ in another scene
  • after the teen party Stan and his friends are seen driving erratically, implying that they were driving under the influence
  • Mike as an adult in a teenager’s body goes to drink a can of beer but his friend takes it from him saying he is too young to drink

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • shit
  • hell
  • Jesus
  • The word ‘fuck’ is mouthed

In a nutshell

Whilst the concept of 17 Again is not new, the movie is quite enjoyable, with charismatic characters and feel-good storylines that are likely to please tween audiences in particular.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • the importance of appreciating what you have and making the most of it
  • true love and family; and the sacrifices that can come with this
  • standing up for yourself, for others and for what you believe
  • being yourself and being proud of who you are.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as;

  • underage drinking/ drink driving
  • teenage sex/ safe sex
  • peer pressure