An acceptable "Accepted"

Aug. 23, 2006, midnight | By David Jia | 17 years, 3 months ago

Humorous comedy redefines comedy

During the high school years, not a single student has gone by without envisioning his or her college experience. And most students get into at least one college (some better some worse, but at least they get in). Then what happens when a student doesn't get into college? In any normal circumstances, he or she would try to find a job and perhaps try again next year. But, as Steve Pink's "Accepted" shows, there are other "loopholes" that can be taken to advantage.

Resourceful, smart-mouth Bartleby "B" Gaines (Justin Long, who also costarred in "Herbie: Fully Loaded") has just got his eighth rejection letter from a college and has hit the dead end of his college-bound hopes. However, this witty character evades his parents' censure by "founding" a college for his next four years of academic enlightment. With the help of his best friend, Sherman Schrader (Jonah Hill), and his fellow college rejects, Hands (Columbus Short), Glen (Adam Herschman) and Rory (Maria Thayer), Bartleby converts an old mental institution into the South Harmon Institute of Technology.

But things were just too good to last. Sherman, the computer whiz, who created a website for South Harmon, made the website "functional," meaning any kid who clicks the "apply" button will receive an acceptance letter. This proves to be a problem when over a hundred students arrive at South Harmon for "orientation." And, from then on, the problems just keep on building until things get completely out of hand.

The plot, as simple as the typical teen flick, is extremely comical; the antics of college-shunned crowd portray the cast a pathetically funny group. There are also several hidden ironies within the movie. For example, Sherman writes "be who you are" as a school motto in his website, but in real life, he willingly gets hazed by other students in order to fit in with a society that obviously doesn't match him. In this aspect, "Accepted" takes off from the much-doomed teen flick genre: it seeks to provide thrills through thoroughly idiosyncratic characters, which is far different from movies like "John Tucker must die."

In addition, none of the hilarious acting seems at all forced, allowing the preposterous situations appear, in their own way, plausible. Herschman, in particular, who is a first-time actor, excellently portrays Glen's crazy, almost-unstable character of a "mad chef." A kid dubbed the Freaky Student (Jeremy Howard) accomplishes a perfect, permanently-stoned face. But one who has a little faith in him will be in for an explosive ending.

The humor, however, does get a little overboard at times, even for a teen flick, Though the music played is appropriate enough, the costumes the students wear and some of the student's absolutely lost expressions are still too funny for the scene.

Despite these flaws, "Accepted" remains one of the best comedies since "Napoleon Dynamite" by showing a new way of rejecting rejection.

"Accepted" (90 minutes, now playing in theaters everywhere) is rated PG-13 for language, sexual material and drug content.

David Jia. David Jia is thrilled to be on the Silver Chips Online staff and is looking forward to a fun year as a junior as a staff writer. He enjoys swimming and table tennis, though he is not competent in either sport. His friends often think … More »

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