by Jodi Clager
New World Pictures
Once in a lifetime, if you’re very lucky, a movie comes along that introduces you to a side of humanity that is enough to change your life forever. It takes all of your notions concerning the meaning of life and knocks them from your head like a bully upending books from your hands. It changes you on a cellular level.
18 Again!, the 1989 George Burns vehicle, is that film. This movie will empty your body and refill the empty vessel with feelings you never knew existed. It will impart one hour and forty minutes of valuable life lessons into your astonished brain and make you live life by their teachings.
Lesson #1: If you share the responsibility of blowing out your birthday candles with another person, you will unlock a powerful, unspecified kind of magic. If it is your birthday, the wish will come true and the other person will be thoroughly fucked in the deal.
Lesson #2: You shouldn’t let 81-year-old men drive after midnight and being fed. It turns them into near-sighted fail machines that forget how motorcars work, slamming them gracelessly into glass storefronts. This accident will also activate any unspecified magic that may have been unlocked earlier in the evening.
Lesson #3: When swapping bodies with an octogenarian, be aware that they will straight up leave your consciousness trapped inside of their old, coma-having bodies while having the time of their lives in your fully-functioning one.
Lesson#4: Once your Grandfather gets his bony, decrepit claws in your nubile 18-year-old body, he will most definitely ruin it. He will flip across football fields like he wandered into a WHAM! video, smoke cigars like he’s their spokesman, and walk hunched forward like some kind of insane spider monkey or something.
Lesson#5: Background music is for pornos, elevators, and lesser movies. 18 Again! only uses randomly placed bursts of music that sound like Crow T. Robot playing the trombone. Sit in awkward silence if you want to live life to the fullest.
Lesson#6: If you ever live long enough to be old and wealthy, never date or marry a trollop half your age who has hair the color of Phoenix’s chili farts. She will wear her boobs on a shelf in every outfit. She will be a gold-digger that attempts to pull the plug on your coma corpse to inherit all of your money. She will try to take your newly legal grandson to the bonezone.
Lesson#7: If you want to make a bully leave you alone, embarrass him at poker and then challenge him to a footrace.
Lesson#8: If you are the unfortunate recipient of a coma body in your unspecified magic body swap, you will have no lasting damage to your mind. You will return to your body content and ready to complete all of the tasks your Grandfather set up for you while using your body. You will beat the bully in the race, get the girl, and pursue your art.
Lesson#9: The 1980s were awesome. Case in point? This movie was rated PG. What was deemed all ages with just a bit of guidance from the people raising you? Boobs. Boobs in the forefront of a shot being shared by a leering dude’s face. A crude drawing of the boobs’ owner featuring her bush. A scene implying George Burns banged his lady friend like a screen door in a wind storm. Pauly Shore.
You can watch 18 Again! in its entirety on YouTube. I suggest you watch it sooner rather than later so you can give yourself the tools you need to fix your life and the lives of everyone around you via unspecified magic and stories about Harry S. Truman. You’re welcome.
Jodi Clager is the associate trade news editor for Film School Rejects.