Elizabeth Banks on '17 Again': Did she, like, skip all her journalism classes?
But judging from her new post on the Huffington Post, I'm guessing she wasn't a J-school major at the University of Pennsylvania. She's written an ardent essay arguing against the unfortunate message of the Zac Efron-starring "17 Again" -- i.e. that knocking up your high school sweetheart is A-OK. I actually think that I completely agree with her point, but her prose is so, well, over-caffeinated that as I continued reading I got so jittery that I somehow lost the thread of what she was talking about.
Here's an excerpt from the piece just to get you going. After explaining that the film does strike a cautionary note in a scene where Margaret Cho promotes the use of condoms, Banks writes:
Unfortunately, this scene would have had a lot more impact if Zac Efron's character not only acknowledged that sex can lead to babies but also that having a kid when you're 18 is hard, hard, hard. (Spoiler alert: he should know, see, 'cuz that's what got him into this crazy mess!) Also, he doesn't want his daughter (again, born when he was 18) to have sex with her high-school sweetheart yet his most powerful argument against it -- HAVING A KID WHEN YOU ARE JUST GRADUATING HIGH SCHOOL IS HARD -- I KNOW, I'M REALLY YOUR DAD! -- never comes up. He's just like, "fingers crossed!" Now, of course, the daughter does not have sex (totally unrealistically) and ends up lusting after Mr. Efron (totally realistically, who wouldn't) and it's creepy and weird. My point here (sorry, I was looking up "image Hunter Parrish" on Google and got off-track) is that this movie pretty much glamorizes teenage parenting. It basically says: Go for it! Have a kid when you're 18. Throw another one in for good measure right after and you'll get a nice house, deck and hammock included, your baby mama apparently won't need to work, your kids will eventually have iPods and get into Georgetown and the person you picked (when you were 17) is actually your soulmate! Don't worry if the condom breaks -- it's cool! It's totally worked out for Bristol, ya'll! (Is it me or is Levi cute?)
If anyone can provide a Banks-to-English translation for these musings, please feel free to share.
Photo: Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times