Embark on a cinematic journey through the charming realm of transformation and second chances with our curated list of the 25 best movies like "17 Again."
These films masterfully blend humor with the heartache of nostalgia, whisking viewers away to a world where the past can be revisited, and life's choices can be reexamined.
From body swaps to time travel, from unexpected romances to life-altering revelations, each movie offers a unique spin on the possibility of what could happen if we're given another shot at a pivotal point in our lives.
Whether you're longing for a laugh, a cry, or a thoughtful pause, this collection promises to deliver stories that resonate deeply with the dreamer in all of us.
Back to the Future (1985)
This iconic sci-fi adventure follows the thrilling escapades of Marty McFly, a typical American teenager of the 1980s, accidentally transported back to 1955 in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the eccentric scientist Doc Brown. In a race against time, Marty must ensure his high-school-aged parents unite in order to save his own existence. The film brilliantly combines humor, adventure, and a touch of romance, with a nostalgic look at the past. Similar to "17 Again," it explores the concept of revisiting one's youth, the impact of choices on one's future, and the comedic mishaps that occur when different eras collide.
Michael J. Fox
Thomas F. Wilson
Wendie Jo Sperber
Frances Lee McCain
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
This timeless classic tells the story of George Bailey, a man who has given up his dreams to help others, and whose imminent suicide on Christmas Eve brings about the intervention of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody. Clarence shows George all the lives he has touched and how different life in his community would be if he had never been born. The film's heartwarming narrative, reflective tone, and themes of self-worth and redemption closely align with the transformational journey in "17 Again," highlighting the significance of life choices and the impact one person can have on others.
Groundhog Day (1993)
In this comedic fantasy, Phil Connors, a cynical TV weatherman, finds himself reliving the same day over and over again when he goes on location to the small town of Punxsutawney to film a report about their annual Groundhog Day. His predicament leads to various emotional and humorous scenarios as he reevaluates his life and priorities. The film, like "17 Again," delves into themes of self-improvement, second chances, and the impact of personal transformation, all wrapped in a blend of humor and life lessons.
"Big" is a timeless classic that captures the wonder and challenges of childhood dreams in an adult world. When 12-year-old Josh Baskin wishes to be 'big' and wakes up as a 30-year-old man, he discovers the complexities of adult life while maintaining the innocence and perspective of a child. As he navigates work, romance, and the bewildering customs of adulthood, Josh learns valuable lessons about what it truly means to grow up. This film, much like "17 Again," uses the concept of age transformation to explore themes of maturity, the value of youth, and the poignancy of life's fleeting moments, all wrapped in a package of heartwarming humor and nostalgia.
Kimberlee M. Davis
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
In "Mrs. Doubtfire," Robin Williams delivers an unforgettable performance as Daniel Hillard, a struggling actor and divorced father who disguises himself as a British nanny to spend time with his children. This touching and hilarious film explores themes of family, identity, and the lengths one will go to for their loved ones. It shares the comedic and heartfelt approach of "17 Again," focusing on the importance of family and the realization of one's mistakes, while offering a story of redemption and understanding through its unique narrative and memorable characters.
Freaky Friday (2003)
This remake of the classic body-swap story features a mother and daughter who couldn't be more different, and who, after a magical twist of fate, find themselves in each other's bodies. As they navigate each other's daily lives, they gain a newfound understanding and appreciation for one another. "Freaky Friday," like "17 Again," uses the body-swap trope to explore family dynamics, generational gaps, and the path to self-discovery. It's a fun, engaging film that combines comedy, drama, and heartwarming moments, showcasing the power of empathy and the bond between parent and child.
Jamie Lee Curtis
Chad Michael Murray
Bruce Almighty (2003)
In "Bruce Almighty," Jim Carrey plays Bruce Nolan, a discontented TV reporter who blames God for his unfulfilled life. Miraculously, God (played by Morgan Freeman) responds by endowing Bruce with divine powers to see if he can do a better job. The movie is a hilarious yet insightful exploration of responsibility, free will, and the human tendency to take blessings for granted. Like "17 Again," it uses a fantastical premise to delve into personal growth, self-realization, and the impact of one's choices, all wrapped in a comedic package with underlying heartwarming and reflective themes.
Philip Baker Hall
Lisa Ann Walter
13 Going on 30 (2004)
This charming film tells the story of Jenna Rink, a 13-year-old girl who, after making a wish, wakes up as a 30-year-old woman (played by Jennifer Garner). As she navigates adulthood with the heart of a teenager, Jenna discovers the true value of friendship, love, and integrity. The film parallels "17 Again" in its magical transformation narrative, offering a blend of comedy, nostalgia, and romance. It emphasizes the importance of cherishing one's youth while also looking at the consequences of the choices we make.
Christa B. Allen
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
An extraordinary tale of Benjamin Button, a man who ages in reverse. Born under unusual circumstances, Benjamin (played by Brad Pitt) experiences life uniquely, as he grows younger with time. This poignant story traverses various periods and relationships, notably with Daisy (played by Cate Blanchett), exploring themes of love, loss, and the human experience. Similar to "17 Again," it delves into the reflection on life's journey, the impact of time on relationships, and the bittersweet nature of aging, albeit in a more dramatic and fantastical manner. The film's unique narrative challenges viewers to consider the fleeting nature of time and the importance of living life to its fullest.
Taraji P. Henson
About Time (2013)
"About Time" is a poignant and whimsical exploration of love, life, and time travel. Upon turning 21, Tim Lake discovers he can travel in time within his own life. He uses this extraordinary ability to improve his life, especially focusing on winning the heart of Mary, the woman he loves. However, he soon learns that even time travel can't protect him from the ups and downs of life and love. The film, much like "17 Again," delves into themes of making the most of one's life, the importance of family, and the enduring power of love. It combines heartwarming, reflective, and comedic elements, inviting viewers to ponder the significance of time and the choices we make.
The Family Man (2000)
In "The Family Man," Jack Campbell, a successful and single businessman, experiences a glimpse of the life that could have been if he had made different choices. Waking up in an alternate reality where he is a family man, Jack finds himself living a more modest life with his college sweetheart and their children. The film, like "17 Again," plays with the idea of second chances and the 'what-ifs' of life choices. It's a heartwarming, reflective, and at times humorous look at the values of love, family, and the paths not taken, emphasizing the importance of appreciating what one has.
"Pleasantville" is a unique and thought-provoking film where two modern-day teenagers are magically transported into the black-and-white world of a 1950s sitcom. As they interact with this simplistic, utopian world, their influence begins to bring color and change, challenging the town's preconceived notions of life and happiness. The movie, sharing similarities with "17 Again," offers a nostalgic look back at the past, combined with themes of self-discovery, change, and the impact one can have on their environment. It's a blend of comedy, drama, and a touch of romance, all wrapped in a visually striking and metaphorical narrative.
William H. Macy
The Kid (2000)
In this heartwarming tale, successful but unhappy image consultant Russ Duritz meets an unexpected visitor: his 8-year-old self, Rusty. This unexpected encounter forces Russ to confront his past, leading him on a journey of self-discovery and redemption. As Russ reconnects with the dreams and values he lost along the way, he learns important life lessons about happiness and fulfillment. Much like "17 Again," "The Kid" explores themes of second chances, personal growth, and the power of revisiting one's past to shape a better future, all woven together with humor and emotional depth.
Daniel von Bargen
"Click" follows the life of overworked architect Michael Newman, who discovers a universal remote that allows him to fast-forward, pause, and rewind his life. Initially, this seems like a blessing, but Michael soon learns the consequences of skipping through life's moments. The film combines comedy with profound reflections on the importance of cherishing every moment with family and loved ones. Similar to "17 Again," "Click" delves into the realization of what truly matters in life, offering a poignant look at the choices we make and their impact on our relationships.
Liar Liar (1997)
In this comedy, fast-talking lawyer Fletcher Reede is unable to lie for 24 hours due to his son's birthday wish. This sudden shift leads to a series of comedic and revealing events, forcing Fletcher to confront the consequences of his deceitful behavior. The film brilliantly uses humor to explore themes of honesty, redemption, and the importance of family. Like "17 Again," "Liar Liar" focuses on the transformative journey of its protagonist, highlighting the significance of personal integrity and second chances in mending broken relationships.
Vice Versa (1988)
In this amusing and heartwarming tale of father-son role reversal, "Vice Versa" explores the hilarious consequences when Marshall Seymour, a work-absorbed father, and his son, Charlie, accidentally swap bodies due to a mystical skull. As they navigate each other's lives, they gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of one another's challenges and perspectives. This film, like "17 Again," uses a fantastical premise to delve into family dynamics, offering both comedic and reflective moments that underscore the importance of empathy and connection within families.
Peggy Sue Got Married (1986)
Peggy Sue Bodell, attending her high school reunion, finds herself mysteriously transported back to her senior year. Faced with the opportunity to change her future, Peggy Sue grapples with decisions about love, life, and her eventual marriage. This film shares the nostalgic and reflective tones of "17 Again," as both protagonists are given a chance to reevaluate their life choices in their youth. With a blend of romance, drama, and a touch of humor, "Peggy Sue Got Married" offers a poignant look at the 'what ifs' of life.
Kevin J. O'Connor
Lisa Jane Persky
The Age of Adaline (2015)
This romantic fantasy film tells the story of Adaline Bowman, who, due to a rare occurrence, has remained 29 years old for nearly eight decades, leading a solitary existence to keep her secret. Her life takes a turn when she meets Ellis Jones, reigniting her passion for life and romance. Like "17 Again," this film explores the themes of time, change, and the impact of life choices. It's a story that intertwines the complexities of immortal youth with the heartwarming and dramatic aspects of love and life's fleeting nature.
More Hidden Gems Like '17 Again'
In the world of cinema, hidden gems often lie unnoticed. Our "Underrated Movies" section unveils seven such treasures that echo the themes of "17 Again."
These films, though lesser-known, shine with their heartfelt narratives, blending humor, nostalgia, and introspection. They're perfect for those seeking depth and charm beyond mainstream hits.
Begin Again (2013)
This film is a soulful exploration of music, relationships, and new beginnings. When Gretta, a talented songwriter, and Dan, a struggling music executive, cross paths, their collaborative journey transforms both their lives. Set in New York City, the film beautifully captures the healing power of music and the unexpected turns life can take. As in "17 Again," the characters in "Begin Again" are at a crossroads, dealing with past decisions and uncertain futures. The film weaves a tale of rediscovery and the magic of second chances, resonating with themes of hope, creativity, and the rejuvenating power of new connections, all set to an enchanting soundtrack.
Dan in Real Life (2007)
In this heartwarming dramedy, Dan, a widowed advice columnist and father, finds himself falling in love with Marie, only to discover she's dating his brother. Set during a family gathering, the film skillfully blends humor with poignant moments as Dan navigates his complicated emotions and family dynamics. Like "17 Again," "Dan in Real Life" deals with the complexities of relationships and the unexpected paths life can take. It's a story about finding love and happiness in the most unexpected places, and how family, with all its imperfections, can still be a source of strength and joy.
Norbert Leo Butz
The Way Way Back (2013)
This coming-of-age film follows Duncan, an awkward 14-year-old, as he spends his summer navigating the challenges of adolescence, a difficult family life, and his mother's overbearing boyfriend. Finding solace and guidance at a local water park, Duncan's journey is one of self-discovery and empowerment. The film shares with "17 Again" a focus on personal growth and the transformative power of a pivotal summer. It masterfully combines humor, drama, and heartwarming moments, capturing the essence of teenage angst and the path to finding one's place in the world.
"Flipped" captures the essence of childhood crushes and the evolution of relationships. Set in the late 1950s to early 1960s, this film takes a delightful look at the rollercoaster of emotions experienced by young Juli and Bryce. As they navigate their formative years, perceptions shift, revealing the depth and authenticity of feelings that go beyond mere infatuation. The movie brilliantly showcases the confusion and beauty of young love, underpinned by a strong family dynamic and a touch of sweet nostalgia. In parallels with "17 Again," it emphasizes the importance of perspective and understanding in relationships, while delighting the audience with its heartwarming and comedic moments.
Rebecca De Mornay
Penelope Ann Miller
Secondhand Lions (2003)
This movie is an enchanting tale of adventure, family, and the stories that define us. Walter, an introverted and uncertain boy, is thrust into the world of his uncles, Garth and Hub. Through their unbelievable tales of youth, love, and adventure, Walter discovers the value of believing in something, whether it's true or not. The movie's warm tone and underlying message about the significance of family and the stories we tell ourselves resonate deeply with similar themes in "17 Again," where the protagonist re-evaluates his life choices and rediscovers his values through a journey back in time.
Haley Joel Osment
Liberal Arts (2012)
The film delves deeper into the complexities of adulthood and the unexpected connections that challenge our perceptions. Jesse's return to his college roots reignites his passion for literature and leads to introspection about his life choices. As he navigates his unexpected relationship with Zibby, Jesse confronts the realities of age, experience, and the nature of connection. The film, like "17 Again," speaks to the universal longing for youthful idealism and the bittersweet nature of looking back, while maintaining a humorous and poignant tone.
In Your Eyes (2014)
This film takes its characters, and viewers, on an extraordinary journey of deep emotional resonance. Rebecca and Dylan's unique psychic connection breaks the barriers of their individual struggles and loneliness, offering a window into another person's soul. As they navigate this bizarre yet intimate bond, they find solace, understanding, and ultimately, love in each other's lives. The movie shares with "17 Again" an exploration of the transformative power of understanding oneself and others, while presenting a uniquely romantic narrative that transcends physical boundaries. It's a story about finding someone who truly sees you, in all senses of the word.