Sunday, November 28, 2010

College Freshmen? Justin Long (in the tooth) and Jonah (over the) Hill?

Accepted  (Universal, 2006)

Before the Camera:

Justin Long (Live Free or Die Hard)
Jonah Hill  (Superbad)
Adam Herschman  (The Sprint guy in the old Chad Alltel commercials)
Columbus Short  (Armored)
Maria Thayer  (Hitch)
Blake Lively  (The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants)
Mark Derwin  (The Minus Man)
Ann Cusack  (Tank Girl)
Anthony Heald  (Red Dragon)
Travis Van Winkle  (Friday the 13th '09)
Lewis Black  (Hannah and Her Sisters)
Behind the Camera:
Directed by Steve Pink
Produced by Michael Bostick, Louis G. Friedman, Brian Lutz, Amanda Morgan Palmer, Mark Perez, Tom Shadyac, Jonathan Watson, and Jason Wilson

Written by Adam Cooper, Bill Collage and Mark Perez

    Upon his graduation from high school, perennial ne'er-do-well Bartleby Gaines (Long) gets rejected by every college he applied to, which does not please his parents. So, turning from his fake ID business, he instead fakes an acceptance letter from the fictitious South Harmon Institute of Technology, allowing him to keep his folks at bay while he figures out what to do next. He also fakes acceptance letters for his pals Hands (Short), Rory (Thayer), and Glen (Herschman), whose college plans were also crushed.  However, his parents want to see the school their boy will be attending, and to meet the dean. So now he gets pal Sherman (Hill) to throw together a fake website while Bartleby and the other chums take out a lease on an abandoned mental health facility and fake a small college campus with spit and baling wire.
    For the Dean of the college, they are forced to go with Sherman's Uncle Ben (Black), a former teacher now turned professional disgruntled layabout. Then, it turns out that fake website had working buttons and links, and the gang find themselves swamped with hundreds of students who show up having been accepted to the S.H.I.T. (pun intended) Bartleby decides to go forth with the pile of tuition money the new students brought and turn the fake school into a real college.
    But nearby Harmon College Dean Van Horne (Heald) is not going to let a new college spring up in his backyard without checking into it, especially when the new campus sits right on the chunk of land he wants to use for his new garden and gates. So while Bartleby and his pals design their curriculum and get down to some serious partying, Van Horne sends his minion Hoyt Ambrose (Van Winkle) to find out what's going on over at the S.H.I.T. so he can figure out how to shut them down...

I don't think you can make a college comedy without resorting to a play on the word Dean,
though this flick gets extra points for subtlety.
As college flicks go, this one turned out to be okay. The premise is farfetched, to say the least, and does borrow the old "let's fake something using a really inappropriate authority figure" plot used back into the misty depths of history, and for the Disney movie Camp Nowhere. But it's plays out fairly well here, with Long a pretty good Screen Smartaleck. The rest of the junior cast is decent, though if I'd known the world needed a Jonah Hill I could have provided one 25 years ago and been graduated to playing this one's father by now. Herschman is solid as the whacked out Glen, but because he still has the hair (which I always assumed was a wig) from the Alltel ads it gets a little surreal at times. As far as the rest of the cast goes, standouts include Heald, always well heeled when playing a heel; and Van Winkle, who manages to not play his jerk antagonist character as a comic book, giving the guy some shading not often seen in this stock character. But far and away the biggest prize goes to Lewis Black, hilarious as the... well, Lewis Black-like Uncle Ben! I enjoy his humor, and he's used well here, bombastically bellowing about any old thing at the drop of a hat and providing solid support but not on screen every second, which leaves the viewer wanting more, just as it should be.    
    On the downside, the film is a bit wholesome for a college raunchfest, with the PG-13 rating keeping too many clothes on and even causing an actual, no-kidding bleep on Black's second of two F-Bombs! You do get 62 S-Bombs, though, thanks to that school acronym getting a workout in the script.
    And just to justify that title, at the time of this flick's release, Justin Long was 28 years old, and Jonah Hill was a couple of months shy of 24. Not the oldest filmic high schoolers - the movie record might still belong to Matt Lattanzi, who was 31 when Diving In was released in 1990, or if you want to go TV Stacey Dash was 33 (!) when the last episode of the Clueless TV series aired in May 1999.
    Summing up, if you're a fan of any of the actors, or a Lewis Black devotee, or want to see something that is in the vein of Animal House, only cleaner, there's enough here to warrant a watch. But if you're looking for a good R rated grossout college comedy, may I recommend a couple of the direct-to-DVD American Pie Presents movies, specifically The Naked Mile or Beta House?

Let's Get Out of Here ?

It takes a while, but finally at around 1:05:50, Travis Van Winkle, tired of being pwned by Justin Long's superior insulting ability, throws out The Line to his compadres.

Eye Candy ?

The ladies in the film are cute and all, but none have that special spark. Sorry, ladies.

Buddha Man's Capsule Review

Buddha Man says: "Accepted is acceptable."
 Thank you o wise golden one. Til next post, you Can Poke Me With A Fork, Cause I Am Outta Here.

No comments:

Post a Comment