Yet another tiresome coming-of-age movie, “Try Seventeen” tries for Holden Caulfield but falls grievously short of its goal. Jones (Elijah Wood
) is a sweet faced, young-looking 21-year-old who has just left home for university. However, he promptly drops out of school and sets out to make it as a writer. Ensconced in an old house, he meets and interacts with a quirky assortment of neighbors, including a hard-bitten photographer (Franka Potente), a would-be actress (Mandy Moore) and a gun-toting cowboy (Aaron Pearl). Of course, his experiences with them change him forever.
Wood, who was so terrific in “The Lord of the Rings,” is less so here but he's not exactly playing a deep or interesting character. Only Potente (“The Bourne Identity”) makes something out of her superficial part; she's the welcome gritty center of this otherwise glib and trite film.
Starring Elijah Wood, Franka Potente and Mandy Moore. Directed by Jeffrey Porter. Written by Charles Kephart. Produced by Michele Weisler, Mike Elliott, Holly Wiersma, Randall Emmett and George Furia. No distributor set. Drama. Not yet rated. Running time: 96 min.