Don't hate liking '21 and Over'
Here is a youth comedy that is leering, offensive, politically incorrect, at times even disgusting and, yet, not a bummer. In fact, those who stick with it to the end may find “21 and Over” to be one of the more-appealing movies of the season. Written and directed by “The Hangover” co-writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, it has a crazed, chaotic energy that absolves most of its sins.
To celebrate the 21st birthday of their pal Jeff Chang (Justin Chon), a workaholic premed student, his wild-man pal Miller (Miles Teller) and buttoned-down buddy Casey (Skylar Astin) arrange a pub crawl. Knowing he has a crucial internship interview the next morning, they promise to keep it safe and sane.
He screws up. He trusts them.
The celebration turns into a bender of Australian proportions. Jeff Chang (he is always called by both names, like Meat Loaf) implodes after so many years of repression, drinks himself psychotic, and passes out. Miller and Casey drag the limp birthday boy across the hard-partying college town in a fruitless search for his apartment. En route, they run afoul of a hyperaggressive pep squad captain, enrage a Latina girl gang, start a buffalo stampede, throw comatose Jeff Chang off two roofs and commit a hodgepodge of felonies.
You root for them, nevertheless, because the actors are likable, the mayhem is cartoonishly overblown, there's a nice undercurrent of believable friendship and the pace never slackens long enough for your thoughts to turn judgmental. It's a cheerful jolt of Grade-A idiocy.
Colin Covert reviews movies for the Star Tribune (Minneapolis).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.