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A look at TRY SEVENTEEN with Elijah Wood and Franka Potente!!!

Hey folks, Harry here with the latest giant epic to star Elijah Wood... um, oh wait, this is a drama with romance and all that jazz. There is no orcs or Uruk Hai and surely you can blame the filmmakers for not including their talents and discriminating against them just because they didn't "Traditionally" have a place in this type of film... hehehe... Here we have the Lovely Rita writing about her thoughts after watching it twice during this year's Toronto Film Festival!!!

I saw Elijah Wood and Franka Potente’s new movie, “Try Seventeen,” twice at the Toronto International Film Festival and would like to share my thoughts with you. First, I went in with pretty low expectations. Sure, I’m a big LOTR/Elijah Wood/ Franka Potente fan, but the director is an unknown (Jeffrey Porter), and nobody, but nobody was writing about this film in their festival previews. It wasn’t even on anyone’s “avoid at all costs” lists. Plus, the thought of a film with Mandy Moore was too terrifying for words. But, Elijah Wood was due to appear, and who knows if it will ever make it to general release, so I went.

The crowd was full of fans, of course. The Potente/Moore fans were left disappointed as both ladies were a no-show, but Wood and Porter (and other supporting cast members) did come. Alas, no Deborah Harry in sight. But the audience was ready to laugh and enjoy, and surprise, surprise, we did laugh and enjoy!

Brief plot summary: Dylan Jones (Wood) is a 17 year old college drop-out who learns about life and love as a boarder in a large house somewhere in Kansas. Romantic entanglements come from fellow boarders Jane (Potente) and Lisa (Moore).

But my reflections are really based on the second showing, where the audience was more discriminating (a Thursday afternoon, and no stars, just Jeffrey Porter) and the sound system was clearer. It’s a good movie. It’s a light, romantic coming-of-age picture with enough substance to be worth a second viewing. In fact, things that didn’t seem to work the first time around did the second. Case in point: Mandy Moore. At the first viewing all I could think was, why didn’t they hire a real actress for this part. But on Thursday I decided that Moore acquitted herself pretty well. Sure, she’s irritating, but she’s supposed to be.

Elijah Wood and Franka Potente were both excellent (no surprise there). Some may, however, be surprised at the on-screen chemistry between these two. It was hot! No nudity, (unless you count Elijah Wood’s chest) but lots of meaningful looks and deep kisses. Despite the age and height difference, it’s easy to accept that there is something happening between them. Elizabeth Perkins is superb as Elijah Wood’s mother (a role she also had many years ago in “Avalon”). And downstairs neighbour Brad, played by Aaron Pearl, is a hoot.

A lot of this, of course, has to do with the quality of the writing. The dialogue is crisp, the characters are well-drawn, and the jokes are funny (except for one groaner early on).

I hope Jeffrey Porter left the festival with a distribution deal in hand. This film certainly deserves better than straight-to-video.

Lovely Rita

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 27, 2002, 6:35 a.m. CST

    franka potente - hottie... hey, is this a FIRST?

    by redtom

  • Sept. 27, 2002, 6:40 a.m. CST


    by redtom potente really enhanced 'the bourne identity' recently, great performer.

  • Sept. 27, 2002, 7:51 a.m. CST

    "...a 17 year old college drop-out who learns about life and lov

    by Eugene O

    Oh, THAT old plot again! Sheesh!

  • Sept. 27, 2002, 8:44 a.m. CST

    by drjones

    that franka-elijah relationship(on screen) sounds pretty interesting... although the plot doesn`t seem to be soo cool on the first view as DARTH BONO already mentioned...but with a good writing and those good actors..well i hope just the best..:D

  • Sept. 27, 2002, 9:05 a.m. CST


    by redtom

    ...yeah, i know what you say about first posters alright - i needed the laugh...

  • Sept. 27, 2002, 9:19 a.m. CST

    Mandy Moore looks like she's chewing off the side of her fac

    by Sam Kinison

    The next time you see her in an interview pay attention to this detail. Nonetheless, she's still hot.

  • Does it have the chance of being a "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" kind of hit, or did you still feel it might not get a wide release after you saw it? Neat detail about Elizabeth Perkins BTW, I'd forgotten about her in Avalon. It's almost creepy to think how young Wood was then, and now he's in hot romantic comedies...yikes, what's the meaning of the title, again?

  • Sept. 27, 2002, 1:28 p.m. CST


    by DOGSOUP

    i think "a fine piece of ass" is cutting franke potente a little short.i would expect that kind of comment for someone who has built her career off looking good like say denise richards or heh,mandy moore.calling franke potente a "fine piece of ass" is like saying the illiad is a pretty decent yarn.

  • Sept. 27, 2002, 5:02 p.m. CST

    Wow, this

    by WeedyMcSmokey

    Whew, what an exciting synopsis - man, we've never seen a PG-13 "coming of age" flick before! I'm sorry, but my fluffy little heart just doesn't go pitter-pat for these kind of retreads. There's nothing to see here. Move along.

  • Sept. 28, 2002, 3 a.m. CST

    Actually . . .

    by castlesiege

    I can't say from first hand experience, but a group of my friends went up to thhe film festival and two of them ended up seeing this. Niether of them like teen flicks, so I'm not dure why they ended up there, but they satd it was was pretty good. "There's more depth than usual," is what one said. Though they said Mandy Moore wasn't anything notable, and was really outshined by Franka's "that German girl" perfomance.

  • Sept. 28, 2002, 8:19 a.m. CST

    This sounds gay

    by DirtyDingusMegee

    i hate lite-hearted-romantic comedy- horseshit! this seems like something hollywood is expected to come out with. fuck it

  • Sept. 28, 2002, 11:03 a.m. CST

    Franka is nice nice nice!!

    by KingDuff

    She out-acted Matt Damon in just about every scene they had together in The Bourne Identity, proving that her German films were largely successful partly because of her charm and charisma. God, wouldn't it be nice to have her stick around the good ol' US for a bit?

  • Sept. 30, 2002, 12:50 a.m. CST

    i wouldn't..

    by DOGSOUP

    nope sorry plastic blonde bimbos dont turn me on in the slightest...i might kick her in her ass for a week without bothering to stop but thats as close as im willing to want scabies dude be my guest and eat out her nasty bung encrusted clamidia ridden maggot dwelling anus

  • Sept. 30, 2002, 11:33 p.m. CST

    Totally overrated

    by jsolinas

    Franka Potente has to be the most overrated actress in any country's entertainment industry today. The fact that she is also pretty obnoxious as a person doesn't help; often I will overlook mediocre acting if the person is pleasant. Mandy at least deserves credit for being the one singer in the world who can act. (At least most actors who sing suck at that too... :)...)

  • Nov. 16, 2002, 8:56 p.m. CST

    OMG!!!!! @#$%&@#

    by Frodo_28

    Ahhh i have to say i hate franka. i love elijah an dh'es mine. so whatever. and let me tell yha he is damn fine lookin. wit that shirt off.

  • Nov. 16, 2002, 8:58 p.m. CST

    you go badassunclefranka

    by Frodo_28

    thats all i have to say !!!

  • June 16, 2003, 4:43 p.m. CST

    Try Seventeen

    by lotrfan2226

    Hey I was just wondering when u think i could rent the mivue try seventeen, cuz like i never saw it cuz like it nver came out near me so if anybody has ANY info about try seventeen please e-mail me!!1 hehe thanx my e-mail is thanx again!

  • July 17, 2003, 6:29 p.m. CST


    by LaughteR

    She's great! I like her look! Her personalit is great! A very nice person! Except for that idiot she is dating...she should be w/ me...but I'll keep dreaming...mandy always adds some spice to every movie she has been in...she's the next big star.....

  • Sept. 2, 2003, 7:09 p.m. CST

    Dylan Jones or Jones Dillon?

    by Lau

    I've heard both, and I don't know which is right. Could somebody tell me which one, and be sure of it?