Been There, Seen Better
|Starring:||Justin Long, Jonah Hill, Lewis Black, and Ann Cusack|
“Animal House” is one of the great comedies of all time, which is why it inspired over 20 years worth of rip-offs, rehashes, and remakes.
“Accepted” is one of them.
There’s really no reason this film should have been made. None whatsoever. It’s not original, nothing above and beyond anything else that’s come out on the same subject over and over again at least three times a year for a generation. It’s not better than anything that came before it, nor is it any worse. It’s just blah.
Bartleby “B” Gaines (Justin Long) is one of those cute “con man” types who pulls the usual high school scams we see in every single teen comedy put out since the birth of the MPAA ratings system.
But he forgot one thing. It’s not that easy to get into college, especially when you write a particularly snarky essay. Thus he gets into nowhere. This of course, angers and disappoints his parents (Mark Derwin and Ann Cusack) and delights his disgustingly precocious baby sister (Hannah Marks). However, B, who is a genius of sorts, devises a plan. He’s going to use the latest technology to fake getting into college, thus getting back in mom and dad’s good graces.
So he gets his oldest friend Sherman (Jonah Hill), who did get into college, to fake a website for the “South Harman School of Technology” (yeah, we know what the acronym is) to work this scam along. Two of his other close friends, Hands (Columbus Short) and Rory (Maria Thayer) also couldn’t get in anywhere, so they join in, getting an old mental institution turned into a façade for the fictional school in order to fool our heroes’ parents even further. Not only that, they hire an actual faculty member, Sherm’s Uncle Ben (Lewis Black), to make an appearance to complete the scam.
Unfortunately, the website works too well, and soon, hundreds of “students” show up money in hand having been automatically accepted. “Hilarity” ensues.
Like I said, there’s nothing particularly new with this film, most of which is the same stuff which has been done to death in dozens of movies. There are some good jokes here and there, and a couple of really good performances by Robin Taylor and Jeremy Howard as a couple of the weirder students.
Is it worth the time and money to actually go to the theater and pay ten bucks a head to see this? No. Is it worth a bargain matinee if the temperature gets above 87 degrees Fahrenheit? Perhaps. It all depends on the weather and the state of your air conditioner.