The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday May 28th


Movie short: 21 and Over

“21 and Over” is the failed attempt at trying to capture the magic of the 21st birthday rite of passage. The film tries to bottle the formula of “Animal House” and “The Hangover” into one outrageous college comedy but can’t quite get it right.

College seniors and childhood friends Miller (Miles Teller) and Casey (Skylar Astin) come together again for the 21st birthday of the other member of their trio, Jeff Chang (Justin Chon). Despite Jeff Chang having a major medical school interview the next morning, Miller is determined to get his buddy to engage in the obligatory epic experience.

This set-up had some potential, but the addition of the rest of the plot broke what could have been a hilarious comedy.

Within the next few hours, Jeff Chang becomes mind-numbingly drunk and Miller and Casey cannot remember where he lived. The next hour of the film is spent trying to get Jeff Chang home and ready for his interview.

Miller and Casey have to go through an unnecessary maze of stereotypical college plot points (i.e. parties, sororities, bonfires) to get the information they need.

But really, who doesn’t know where their best friend lives?

The only saving grace of the film is the relationship between Miller and Casey. They successfully portray the evolving friendship of childhood friends starting to enter the real world. Miller is the fast-talking, smart but lazy friend while Casey is the driven, soon-to-be big man on Wall Street.

As Miller, Teller (“Project X”) proves that comedy is definitely his forte. He commands every scene and makes you laugh even when the plot is weak.

It’s obvious that he is a force to be reckoned within the comedy world; he is the young version of a Vince Vaughn/Will Ferrell type and he single-handedly carries the film.

Astin (“Pitch Perfect”) plays the straight-laced good boy well but doesn’t have near the charm as Teller.

But despite Teller’s presence, the fact remains that the plot is overly contrived. “21 and Over” isn’t terrible but it makes you wonder how epic it could have been if done right.

Dive Verdict: ?????

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