21 and Over (R)

Comedy 93 March 1, 2013
By Stephanie Zacharek
You can almost see the minds of the filmmakers working: Someone out there has just got to take umbrage at 21 & Over-- please. But the most offensive thing about the picture-- the directorial debut of the guys who wrote The Hangover-- is how inoffensive it is. 21 & Over pretends to take chances even as it timidly retraces the same dance steps we've already seen in movies like, well, The Hangover. Three former high school besties, having gone off to separate colleges some three years earlier, reconnect on the night the youngest of them finally turns 21. The leads are appealing enough in their hapless, just-of-age way. Casey (Skylar Astin, of Pitch Perfect) and Miller (Miles Teller, who gave a terrific performance in Rabbit Hole and is also a veteran of another recent guys out-of-control comedy, last year's Project X) show up at Northern Pacific University to surprise their pal Jeff Chang (Justin Chon, of the Twilight movies), hoping to kidnap him for a night of birthday brewskis. But JeffChang-- his buds long ago having merged his first and last into that catchy uniname-- has an important med-school interview in the morning, and his glowering doctor-dad (François Chau) has showed up to escort him. Somehow, Casey and Miller persuade JeffChang to go out for just one little beer, which will eventually lead to shots of chartreuse-- or something similarly nasty-- being slurped out of a really fat guy's navel. Mayhem ensues, but as any woman writing about guy humor will tell you, it's really all about male insecurity.
Jon Lucas, Scott Moore Miles Teller, Justin Chon, Skylar Astin, Sarah Wright, Francois Chau, Jonathan Keltz, Daniel Booko, Dustin Ybarra Jon Lucas, Scott Moore David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman, Ryan Kavanaugh Relativity Media

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