21 & Over
Starring Miles Teller, Skylar Astin, Justin Chon
Directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.
A friend remarked that this film is essentially 'The Hangover meets Project X'. I am always wary when people compare one movie to a hybrid of two other solid films. I distinctly remember the film The Adjustment Bureau being shopped as 'Bourne meets Inception'. Logically, this filled me with much anticipation, though alas, the only relation to the Bourne Trilogy was Matt Damon, and similarly the comparison to Inception was unsubstantiated (and quite frankly offensive to Chris Nolan). However, in this case 'The Hangover meets Project X' fundamentally hits the nail on the head. Though it must be said 21 & Over is less funny than The Hangover, and a great deal less raucous than Project X - it is pretty much their lovechild.
It's Jeff Chang's Birthday, he has just turned 21 and his friends from home Miller (Teller) and Casey (Astin) show up on his door step. Only Jeff Chang has an important med school interview the following day and his father makes it clear that his son should probably get a good night sleep in preparation for his once in a lifetime big day. Miller persuades Jeff Chang, in a brilliantly persuasive monologue, that he should definitely go out for a few beers though. Naturally; you only turn 21 once after all.
Two beers spirals into two dozen and next thing you know Jeff Chang is passed out in a toilet cubicle of a sorority house. However not before frequenting countless bars and clubs, and riding on a rodeo bull (in slow mo, obviously...) 21 & Over goes for unapologetic slapstick humour, crude laughs and plays on every politically incorrect stereotype you can possibly imagine. It is funny but probably shouldn't be allowed. That said, the barrage of laughs and plot twists keep coming thick and fast. Just like the drinks the boys are seeing off.
And the thing is, 21 & Over can get away with shamelessly playing each exaggerated caricature and every cliché plot twist going. It's textbook teen comedy, you would never watch this film unless you wanted and expected precisely that. Miles Teller's character is witty and charming enough to keep the audience engaged right till the very last predictable laugh. I don't mind it though, movie snobs and serious film fans would roll their eyes and shake their heads no end - but that's fine, it was not produced for them anyway.
If you are searching for a fun and facetious comedy? You won't go far wrong with 21 & Over. Especially if you have watched (and enjoyed) both Project X and The Hangover...