Second shot

2009-04-17 00:00

WHAT would you do if you got a second chance at life? That’s the question at the heart of 17 Again, the new comedy which opens at CineCentre in Pietermaritzburg today.

The film tells the story of Mike O’Donnell (Zac Efron of High School Musical fame) who, back in 1989, was a high-school basketball star with a bright future. But he threw it all away to be with his girlfriend, Scarlett, and the baby they’re expecting. Almost 20 years later, Mike’s marriage is in trouble, he’s been passed over for a promotion at work, and he can’t talk to his teenage children.

But then he gets the chance to rewrite his life. Unfortunately, while Mike might look 17, his thirtysomething outlook is totally uncool in the class of 2009. And in trying to recapture his best years, Mike could lose the best things that ever happened to him.

Commenting on the film, Efron said: “It’s that grand idea of being able to go back and change the whole trajectory of your life. If you went back armed with the knowledge that you have now, what decisions would you alter and what would the outcome be?”

Matthew Perry, who stars as the adult Mike, agrees: “Everybody makes choices they regret in life, but if you’re constantly looking back and I thinking, ‘I wish I’d done this or that,’ you’re always going to be miserable.

“Mike is unhappy with the way his life turned out and is at the end of his rope. He needs to learn to be a little more grateful for what he has — a great wife and terrific kids — and realise that maybe he is the problem.”

Efron and Perry also enjoyed working together on the film. “Because we were essentially playing the same part, a lot of the rehearsal process was me reading some of his lines and him reading some of my lines and listening to the way we said certain things,” Perry said.

“He was also eager to emulate some of my mannerisms, like he noticed I have a tendency to put my hands in my pockets. So he was always watching and observing, but at the same time he was very good at making the role his own.”

new movies: dogs and sci-fi

ALSO starting at CineCentre this weekend is the family comedy-adventure Hotel for Dogs, which tells the story of Andi (Emma Roberts) and her younger brother, Bruce (Jake T. Austin), who live in a strictly no-pets household and are fast running out of ways to keep their perpetually hungry dog, Friday, under wraps.

When they accidentally stumble on an abandoned hotel that is already home to a couple of resourceful strays, Andi has an idea. She taps Bruce’s mechanical genius for turning everyday objects into mechanical marvels, and, with the help of their friends, transforms the down-and-out hotel into a magical dog paradise.

New at SterKinekor is the comedy Fanboys, in which a group of Star Wars fans decide to break into George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch to steal a copy of Stars Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menance for their friend, Linus, who has cancer and might not live to see the movie released in cinemas.

The film stars Jay Baruchel, Sam Huntington, Chris Marquette, Dan Fogel and Kristin Bell, who in one scene dresses up as Princess Leia wearing the slave-girl outfit from Return of the Jedi.

still on circuit

• CineCentre: Monsters vs Aliens, 12 Rounds, Race to Witch Mountain, Fast and Furious: 4, Dragonball: Evolution, Marley & Me.

• SterKinekor: Monsters vs Aliens, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Friday the 13th, Watchmen, New in Town, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

•NuMetro: Tornado, Monsters vs Aliens, Underworld: Rise of the Lycans, Seven Pounds, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

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