Accepted - Review
Review by Tim Carson
BARTLEBY Gaines has always fought the system but now the system has fought back and he fails to get accepted into college.
To hide the fact from his parents he and his friends create a fake college acceptance letter but when his parents want to drop him off there he has to up the ante and create a college that is soon attracts thousands more students who’ve been rejected.
Directed by Steve Pink, the man who wrote Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity, and starring Justin Long from Dodgeball, Accepted is an acceptable comedy but not much more. It clearly borrows from campus cult classic Animal House but isn’t quite as good or as rebellious.
The plot is fairly predictable and some of the jokes a little obvious – the fake college is called the South Harmon Institute of Technology, for example (think about it) – but if you can accept the limitations and sit back and go with the flow there is plenty to enjoy.
At times the script is very sharp and some of Bartleby’s one-liners, especially, are very cutting. Justin Long is a comedy star in the making who has great comic timing and is very easy to like. His verbal sparring with his pals Sherman (Jonah Hill), Rory (Maria Thayer) and Hands (Columbus Short) is always entertaining.
Lewis Black as Uncle Ben is great too – especially when lecturing the students on the evils of tax and government and while talking to Bartleby’s parents about education (“all were doing is breeding a whole new generation of buyers and sellers…and indoctrinating them into a life long hell of debt and indecision”).
The film also has heart and you grow to care about Bartleby and the other rejects that find a home at South Harmon. And the social message – about the how education system in America is stifling creativity and therefore learning – isn’t hammered home so heavily that it gets in the way of the laughs.
Accepted may not pass the critical examination with flying colours, but it’s a solid performer that could have got a better grade with just a little more hard work. School kids everywhere will probably love it.
Running time: 90mins