#REVIEW: “21 AND OVER”
From the Writers of The Hangover, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, comes their directorial debut 21 and Over, a Coming of Age Comedy about Pre-Medical Student Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) on his 21st Birthday, which also happens to be the night before his Medical School Exam. His two longtime friends – reckless College Dropout Miller (Miles Teller) and level-headed Casey (Skylar Astin) start off with good intentions, setting to take him out for a few drinks. Things spiral quickly out of control after they are forced to flee a Bar when Jeff accidentally throws a dart into the face of aggressive Jock Randy (Jonathan Keltz), which also cuts short what could have been the start of something special for the just-acquainted Casey and charming Nicole (Sarah Wright). As the Boys hop from Bar to Party and Jeff becoming decreasingly conscious, Miller and Casey must beat the clock to get their Buddy home and sober – let alone conscious for that matter – before Jeff‘s stern Father (François Chau) finds out and his fate as a Doctor is doomed.
In all honesty, 21 and Over doesn’t offer us anything we haven’t seen prior in Films which have capitalized on the success of American Pie and The Hangover: Urine, Vomit, Boobs, Bare Buttocks and Reckless Driving. That being said, there are a few genuine and umm… revealing moments between the immensely talented Teller (as seen in Rabbit Hole) and the magnetic Astin, whom Teen Girls fell hopelessly in love with in 2012 Sleeper Hit, Pitch Perfect. The latter gains the most here with a commanding screen presence. Wright after showing promise playing smaller but memorable roles in the likes of The House Bunny and Parks & Recreation, finally gets a chance to shine. Unfortunately, Chon in what could’ve been a Ken Jeong-esque career breakthrough, never quite gets that chance to shine or steal the scene the way his part was intended.
With the limitless success of Comedies like Identity Thief at the Box Office recently, Moviegoers clearly are craving laughter amidst these Winter Blahs Although the laughs don’t quite reach the point of stomach pain in 21 and Over, it succeeds at what it sets out to accomplish and is engaging enough to keep our interest. One could only hope that it would’ve taken a few more risks as sometimes all we want is to be shocked in this age of Desensitization. Still wondering what happened exactly to the parts of the Movie which reportedly were filmed in China… eOne Films releases on March 1, 2013.