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|21 & Over|
dir-scr Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
prd David Hoberman, Ryan Kavanaugh, Todd Lieberman, Hugo Shong, Andy Yan
with Miles Teller, Skylar Astin, Justin Chon, Sarah Wright, Jonathan Keltz, Francois Chau, Russell Hodgkinson, Daniel Booko, Russell Mercado, Josie Loren, Christiann Castellanos, Dustin Ybarra
release US 1.Mar.13, UK 3.May.13
13/US Relativity 1h33
Drunken trio: Astin, Chon and Teller
|R E V I E W B Y R I C H C L I N E|
It's obvious that this film comes from the guys who wrote The Hangover, as it has the same structure and a similar approach to cheap gags. At least the actors mine the material for some gently engaging commentary on friendship. But there's nothing new here.
Miller and Casey (Teller and Astin) head to Seattle to help their best buddy Jeff (Chon) celebrate his 21st birthday in drunken style. But Jeff's medical school entrance interview is the next morning, and his demanding father (Chau) is too terrifying to stand up to. So they sneak out for a single drink. And the night turns into a crazed blur of adventures involving an angry sorority house, the university's mascot buffalo and the tough-talking boyfriend (Keltz) of a cheerleader (Wright) who catches Casey's eye.
The story hinges on the fact that Jeff is so blind drunk that he can't tell Miller and Casey where he lives, so they must enter into a series of chaotic challenges to find his address. None of this makes even the slightest bit of sense (has no one heard of a cold shower and a cup of coffee?), especially as things escalate to an insane frat house party with eight levels of contests.
Of course, each of our three heroes has secrets that come out along the way, stretching their friendship and providing some badly needed character-based comedy and drama. This also lets Teller, Astin and Chon play rather enjoyable scenes together, as genuinely snappy dialog briefly interrupts the rampant idiocy. All three are essentially drunken morons, but at least they remain likeable even as the filmmakers strain to make us laugh at them.
Lucas and Moore indulge in every cliche of the genre, from the tacked-on romance to the discovery of a gun in a pocket. And the biggest gross-out moments are presented in glorious slow-motion, as if that makes them amusing. At least the cast is up for some raucous mayhem along the way, including rather a lot of silly nudity. But the film's message (follow your dreams but don't grow up!) is as simplistic as the plot and characters. And frankly, any movie that asks us to laugh at drunk driving needs a slap in the face.
|R E A D E R R E V I E W S|
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