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21 AND OVER (review)

Review by Caitlyn Thompson
Produced by David Hoberman, Ryan Kavanaugh, Todd Lieberman
Written and Directed by Jon Lucas, Scott Moore
Starring Justin Chon, Miles Teller, Skylar Astin, Sarah Wright

Oh dear me. Lots of man butts.

21 and Over is an over the top depiction of bros being bros on a 21st birthday.

Casey and Miller surprise Jeff Chang on his birthday ready to take him out for a wild night on his special day. It was ridiculous, unrealistic, occasionally funny, but overall tasteless and tiresome. The initial sober scenes spew as many clichés as possible about being young once and living life large. I got it after the fifth analogy. Next chapter is drinking in a bar, yay beer! A pretty girl enters, too many shots are taken, a dart ends up in a cheek and boom onto the montage of a drunken bar escapade. After a bunch of screaming, throwing IDs at bouncers, peeing off of a bar, and a really unnecessary slow motion shot of Jeff Chang puking, the movie’s plot reveals itself – Casey and Miller don’t know where Jeff Chang lives and his dad is coming to get him in several hours for “the most important medical school interview of his life.”

Shenanigans ensue.

All I could think about while watching this movie was what were the writers thinking? Every phrase sounded like something a bunch of dudes thought a bunch of other dudes would find funny. It was exhausting. I get it, penis jokes, ass jokes, boob jokes, threatening man-hood, etc. Frats, bros, dudes, I get it already. Let’s insert a pretty blonde chick who says surprisingly blunt things and poof—the plot spells itself out.

To say something nice about the movie: the soundtrack and directing worked really well together. Despite the dialogue, party scenes and transitions were well choreographed and had a fun accompanying soundtrack. I definitely wanted to get rowdy and play some drinking games when the music picked up.

21 and Over actually had potential to be a sweet movie. Guys losing touch after high school and finding it difficult to confide in one another that life is hard and that grown-up decision making isn’t easy.

It could have been touching.

Let’s look at a good example of serious issues in a bromance film done wonderfully – 50/50. The humor was appropriate and realistic and the serious scenes were heartfelt and emotional. In 21 and Over, the guys brush off the fact that their friend might be seriously depressed a little too quickly. It was tasteless in my opinion, not funny.

The humor of film was repetitive and outlandish, and just made my eyes roll. I laughed because I kept thinking, “Really? This too? That line again? Is this what I’m supposed to find funny?” Exaggerated one-liners, consistently degrading manhood, and repeating JeffChang (one word) as many times as possible – yeah, what a riot?

No.No no.

It was boring and formulaic. The Hangover got away with the impossibly crazy evening just that once. The rest of these movies that are attempting to be just as silly are failing. It’s not funny when you’re beaten over the head with it.

Get it? Get it? GET IT?

Yes. I get it.

Now stop. Please.

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