Did you ever wonder what The Hangover would be like if there guys were younger and still in college? Well wonder no more as the writers of The Hangover bring you 21 & Over…”
Jeff Chong is about to turn 21, but sadly his overbearing father has scheduled a once in a lifetime medical school interview for 9am on the day after his birthday. So a good night’s sleep is just what the doctor ordered… What the doctor would definitely not order is for Jeff’s two childhood friends Miller and Casey to turn up on his doorstep with a dangerous plan for a night of legal-drinking and utter debauchery.
The best thing about 21 & Over is the two leads. Miles Tanner plays obnoxious, foul-mouthed, all bluster no brains Miller with wild abandon. He is so unlikeable as to actually become begrudgingly likeable in an odd sort of way. Then there’s Skylar Astin who builds on his charming role in Pitch Perfect with another here. His quest for love with Sarah Wright’s Nicole gives the film an entertaining secondary plot and provides a momentum and a pay-off that all these kind of films strive for. Sarah Wright is the lone strong feminine presence and she acquits herself well in the boys show. Justin Chon gets some great comedy moments as Jeff Chang but since he is effectively comatose for most of the film he doesn’t get much of a chance to show it off.
Ever drunken college student cliché that you can think of is in here, but the script uses them well-enough that even though you see them coming you still laugh. The plot such as it is all about getting from drunk scene one to drunk scene two, and the characters at no point learn anything about the consequences of their escapades. But then that’s never what frat comedies are about. Animal House is the high-watermark for college comedies and this is too formulaic to reach those heights.Thankfully there is a sprinkling of jokes, some warmth and just enough plot to make this an enjoyable affair.
21 & Over won’t make you love college comedies but if you like the sub-genre already then you’ll have a good time here.