Do you remember your 21st birthday? Was it one of those incredible nights that you just wish you could relive over and over again? 21 And Over wants you to relive that incredible night that you probably don’t even remember. Jeff Chang is turning 21 and his two best friends from high school, Miller and Casey, visit from out of town to his college to surprise him with the best night of his young life. Unfortunately for them, Jeff Chang has one of the biggest interviews of his life, one that his overbearing father pulled strings to get and will assure that he gets into med school, the next morning at 8. What sort of wacky hijinks can three college kids get into in only 12 hours?
If you are actually asking questions about 21 And Over, you’re probably seeing the wrong movie. The film was made by the brilliant minds that brought us last year’s Project X: a movie about high school kids throwing the biggest party you can imagine. So now we get to watch college kids get drunker than you can imagine. I hated Project X, so I didn’t go into 21 And Over expecting a whole lot. This was going to be a movie stuffed to the brim with the lowest common denominator of jokes. While I can’t say I was wrong, there were a few more redeeming qualities to 21 And Over then I expected.
While the marketing seems to want you to think that his is a movie about how crazy someone’s 21st birthday can be, like watching the events that the Wolfpack tried to piece together unfolding, that’s not actually the plot of the movie. Within the first 20 minutes, Jeff Chang is passed out drunk and the rest of the movie is Miller and Casey’s wacky adventures trying to get him home. The 21st birthday is such a minor plot point it might as well not even be there. What’s worse is when the movie actually tries to build plot, it drops all notions of having jokes and you’re left just staring at the screen for about 20 minutes right in the middle.
The Hangover was special because it felt fresh and the characters were fantastic. 21 And Over’s two main characters are completely unrelatable and while you could say everyone learns something in the end, the overall ‘message’ of the movie is so terrible that all of the cheesy 80’s movies in the world combined couldn’t deliver a worse message. But you’re not here for a message, you’re here to laugh and you probably will. While there really isn’t anything innately wrong with the movie, there’s nothing memorable. It’s another piece of disposable entertainment and there’s nothing wrong with that.
If you want to see 21 And Over, you’ll have a good time. Just don’t expect this to be another movie people will be quoting for years. There’s nothing here worth even that. Disposable entertainment is good and this would be a great movie to see under the influence, but if you want a great comedy this isn’t the place to look. Save your money, maybe see Jack the Giant Slayer instead. I’m sure you can find a movie of equal quality in the raunchy comedy section on Netflix or Cinemax to avoid paying $11 at the box office.
In Theaters: March 1, 2013
Runtime: 93 min
Rating: R (for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, some graphic nudity, drugs and drinking)
Director: Jon Lucas and Scott Moore
Cast: Justin Chon, Skylar Astin, Miles Teller, and Sarah Wright
Distributor: Relativity Media
Official Site: http://21andovermovie.tumblr.com