21 & Over – It’s a pity
Directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.
Written by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.
Produced by David Hoberman, Ryan Kavanaugh, Todd Lieberman & more.
Production companies: Mandeville Films, Relativity Media, Skyland Entertainment, Virgin Produced.
UK release date: 3rd May 2013
Review may contain spoilers.
But… I actually did enjoy this movie…
It may be full of all the coarse puns as seen across common films like The Hangover and the American Pie films (and hundreds of others we need not mention), yet the arduous fabrication of situations the characters entwine themselves in touch upon elements of cinematic surrealism, or are these just acts of plumb ignorance favoured by writers Jon Lucas and Scott Moore – it wouldn’t be surprising considering there previous work: The Change-Up, Four Christmases and The Hangover trilogy). Nevertheless a great directorial debut by the two writers.
I am talking about moments like when Miller (Miles Teller) and Casey (Skyler Astin) – the two main protagonists who spend the night obtusely searching for their privily disconsolate friend Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) – end up being kidnapped by a group of campus Latin girls who, conforming to their masquerade creed, implement an erratic embodiment of sexually filtrated acts on Miller and Casey. It’s not merely the content of this act that sparks oddity but the startling way in which Jerry Fleming and Linda Lee Sutton (production and set design) supposedly conformed to by Jon and Scott or Terry Stacey (DoP), set this scene. It inaugurates a sudden theme of horror, even abhorrence, dependent on the viewer. A dark mood casts over the scene as though an exorcism or tribunal hanging is about to take place. The audience is cast away from a comedic land into what appears to be an absurd underground asylum.
For once, it appears that this film may not be entirely as predictable as once was seemed. The sarcastic ‘I wonder what could happen next?’ category, an all too common feature of American comedy’s and of course the Romantic Comedy genre. I felt my, now clammy, toes tie up to the sole of my foot as I pondered upon what could be the greatest breaking of genre convention in the history of contemporary cinema – even more so than the presence of religious extremists in Kevin Smith’s Red State. But it didn’t happen. The characters weren’t callously confined to death; the state of greatly bestowed horror was immediately dissembled. Instead, they (Miller and Casey) ‘made-out’ as declared and the film moved onto the next scene of uncouth drollery; though satisfying the inane worldwide audience I’m sure. Hollywood’s confinement versus the speculative Independents evident once more – at least 21 & Over exclaims in part to bring back the spec script. The future appears somewhat bright for today’s screenwriters; just don’t write the scene I was hoping for!
But, as I mentioned earlier, my viewing experience was kept alive by this temptation to dwell into the unimaginative. Jon and Scott definitely pushed some boundaries with this production, inevitably shaking the bones of Hollywood execs. You will laugh out loud or at least make some form of verbal communication, perhaps along the lines of ‘what?’, ‘so predictable’, ‘oh dear’, ‘really?’, ‘such an asshole’ etc.