Sunday, 30 June 2013

Film Review: 21 & Over

About the film
21 & Over is a comedy film that was released at the cinema on 3rd May. The film has a run time of 93 minutes and is rated 15.

Casey, Miller and Jeff Chang have been best friends since high school. As Jeff Chang is turning 21, Casey and Miller decide to pay him a visit at college to celebrate properly – by getting extremely drunk and having a wild night. However, Jeff Chang has a very important interview the next morning thanks to his father who is a doctor. Jeff Chang is warned to be awake and ready by 7am but Miller doesn’t seem to care. The boys go out with the intent of having a few beers but things quickly begin to go wrong. Jeff Chang ends up getting way more drunk than he probably should have and the night goes from slightly wild to quite insane. Casey and Miller are going to have a hard time getting their friend back home and ready for his interview in the morning.

What I thought
The comedy films I have been to see at the cinema quite recently haven’t ended up being very funny at all, or not nearly as funny as they have been out to be (maybe with the exception of The Campaign and The Dictator). Before my Cineworld card ran out, I really wanted to see something funny and to have a good laugh with my flatmate and boyfriend. 21 & Over was the only thing that looked funny out at the time.

21 & Over is your typical teen comedy film that relies on cheap laughs and gross moments. Miller, played by Miles Teller (from the Footloose remake) truly believes that being 21 means having to celebrate with a massive night of drinking. He hasn’t seen friends Casey or Jeff Chang for a little while but thinks that 21st birthdays are something that they should all celebrate together. Miller is the typical oddball character and the one who doesn’t really take anything seriously and Teller plays the role well. He’s pretty daft and is clearly just wanting a good time in life.

Then there is Casey, who takes being at college quite seriously and when Jeff Chang says he has an interview the next day, he knows going out is a bad idea and suggests not going. He’s the sensible one of the group. Playing Casey is Skylar Astin who is best known for his recent role in Pitch Perfect. His character is a bit of a stiff in comparison to Miller and unfortunately, Astin’s acting ability is just as boring as his character. I liked Astin in Pitch Perfect and thought he was quite cute and funny but for some reason, here he just doesn’t have much personality.

The whole plot revolves around Jeff Chang, who has apparently wanted to be a doctor his whole life. He’s in a great college and studying what he loves the most. He doesn’t get to talk to his friends much but once they turn up, he realises he needs a bit of fun and excitement in his life after studying so hard. Jeff Chang is always referred to in this way, second name and all and I have no idea why. Playing this character is Justin Chon, best known for a small role in the Twilight Saga. Jeff Chang has somewhat of a split personality in this film, as one minute he doesn’t want to go out drinking and the next he is absolutely wasted. I really liked both Chon and his character in this film though. It was hilarious seeing the things he got up to while drinking and how much he was able to let go and have fun once he got into it.

While extremely predictable in regards to the end of the film, 21 & Over does provide plenty of laughs. All three of us were laughing so hard throughout the whole film, as was the rest of the cinema. The last time I laughed this much at a film was probably at The Campaign which was quite some time ago now. The problem is, this kind of comedy certainly won’t appeal to everyone. The comedy is provided in the way of gross out moments such as someone getting a dark through their cheek or being chased around by a pretty large and dangerous animal. Also, as we have a large drinking culture here, I’m sure people will be able to identify with getting up to some crazy and unexpected things on nights out with friends.

21 & Over also makes the most of American college culture and the types of things the students get up to. The film makes the most of fraternities and sororities and the closeness of those kinds of communities. It makes the most of getting into bars whilst underage and then being able to flash ID into the face of a bouncer. It makes the most out of being reckless and carefree as a teenager before becoming an adult and being serious about life. These kinds of things are something I can relate to myself as I had some pretty crazy times when I was younger and it made me think back to my teenage years.

While I found 21 & Over to be extremely funny, not everyone will. I really enjoyed watching this film but I probably wouldn’t buy it on DVD when it comes out. 

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