Drinking games. Projectile vomiting. Teddy bears glued to penises. That pretty much sums up my college experience, which has been adapted to the big screen in the form of 21 & Over, by the writers of The Hangover. A few alterations have been made: most notably, I am now a five-foot-tall Asian student.
Despite the insistence by writers-turned-directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore that 21 & Over is not very similar to The Hangover, the movie about one day in my life is essentially The Hangover with college students. Instead of a group of guys losing their friend, two guys get their friend (me) blackout drunk and spend a night trying to get him home for an interview in the morning.
Crazy things happen in the meantime.
Despite studio Relativity Media's insistence that $100 million be spent to give me the adaptation I deserve (Denzel Washington was originally slated to play me, but the bidding war with Will Smith became outrageous), 21 & Over was made on a semi-shoestring budget with several slightly recognizable but otherwise unknown actors, most notably with Miles Teller, who delivered a great performance in the hilarious Rabbit Hole, and Pitch Perfect'sSkylar Astin.
21 & Over is exactly what you'd expect of a movie about a drunken college experience featuring the world's most incredible person. It isn't as funny as The Hangover, nor is it as entertaining. But it's a fun movie in which the actors clearly were having fun. There are some funny moments, some silly moments and a few jokes that miss the mark, but the breakneck pace and lighthearted story are what makes the movie work.
Miles Teller steals the show as the mandatory obnoxious, slacker friend, and Justin Chon (who plays me) turns in a good performance even when he is passed out drunk. Skylar Astin has the unfortunate part of playing the straight man, but he's not too bad, either. Sarah Wright doesn't have much to do other than look pretty, but she succeeds there.
21 & Over isn't a comedy classic, if only because it feels like a lesser version of The Hangover. But it's a movie that could hit it big on college campuses - where its target market resides -and become bigger over time as teenagers and students recognize just how much fun drinking games, projectile vomiting, teddy bears glued to penises and, of course, me can be.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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