Michelle Trachtenberg signs up to be “17”

I’ll be honest. Michelle Trachtenberg is not high on my list of favorite actresses. Perhaps it’s because I was always annoyed by her as Dawn in Buffy: The Vampire Slayer.

Recent casting news has done nothing to elevate Trachtenberg on my list of actresses to watch. In fact, the news has done the exact opposite. She’s just signed on to join Zac Efron in the teen comedy 17. (Efron is another one of those celebs whose allure escapes me, but whatever floats your boat, I guess.) The fact that she’s signed on to star opposite Efron is not what has her falling down my list. It’s the plot of the film that has me all weirded out.

According to the available plot details, Trachtenberg plays daughter to Matthew Perry in the film. Perry’s character pulls a reverse Tom Hanks and goes from daddy to 17-year-old high schooler in the blink of an eye. I’m sure there’s some message about better understanding his daughter involved in his transformation. I’m also sure it must involve some curse or another placed on a remote or maybe a fortune telling machine. (Why be original? The rest of the plot isn’t.)

This, in case you haven’t figured it out, is where Efron comes in. He plays the 17-year-old version of daddy Perry. And guess who falls for Efron? If you’re screwing up your face in disgust and muttering a chorus of ewws, you’ve guessed right. Trachtenberg proceeds to fall for daddy dearest.

Now, I know that’s not a whole lot different from watching Lea Thompson try to woo Michael J. Fox in Back to the Future, but for some reason I found that not nearly as disturbing. I’ve chosen not to analyze that fact.

Maybe the difference lies in the fact that I still picture Trachtenberg as Harriet The Spy.

Or maybe it goes right back to that annoying Dawn thing. At least with Buffy, I was able to temper that annoyance with the knowledge that Dawn’s appearance meant I got to watch Clare Kramer slink around as Glorificus.

No such luck this time around. The only upside to this mess is the fact that Melora Hardin will be playing the high school principal. Principal Hardin, will you please hand down appropriate detentions for this nonsense?