Runtime: 1 hr 30 min
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Steve Pink
Starring: Justin Long, Jonah Hill, Blake Lively, Anthony Heald, Lewis Black, Travis Van Winkle
ACCEPTED benefits from a good cast of B list actors.
Review by: SteveRhodes
Added: 7 years ago
ACCEPTED benefits from a good cast of B list actors, including Justin Long (DODGEBALL: A TRUE UNDERDOG STORY) as lovable loser Bartleby Gaines and Blake Lively (THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS) as blonde dreamboat Monica. It also has Steve Pink, the screenwriter of HIGH FIDELITY and GROSSE POINTE BLANK, in his directorial debut.
But for all of the promise of a slightly above average team, ACCEPTED is just another teen comedy in the ANIMAL HOUSE tradition with some of the con artistry of FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF. It is never a bad movie, and it does have its moments, but ACCEPTED just never adds up to much.
The plot has graduating high school senior Bartleby Gaines (Justin Long) being rejected by every college to which he has applied, which is certainly the nightmare that haunts many a high school student. In order to get his parents off his back, he attempts what becomes a Horatio Alger story, as Bartleby ends up establishing a college for rejects like himself. Of course, it doesn't start that way.
At first, Bartleby concocts a fake college named the South Harmon Institute of Technology -- think about the acronym, the writers sure did, as they milk it for every laugh they can. This scam is only meant to get his parents to shut up, but, when they hand him a check for $10,000 for the first semester tuition, he begins to see a future in his once ridiculous idea.
And, thanks to the help of a "one click acceptance" from the fake college's website, Bartleby ends up being sent $7.4 million dollars. With money like this, he and his friends fix up an abandoned mental institution and turn it into a campus where the students will teach themselves in subjects they devise themselves. One ogling class for guys lets them stare at hot female students in bikinis as they float in the school's swimming pool. One of the more imaginative episodes has a very hyperactive kid with ADD attending a meditation class. His session consists of one brief bounce on his meditation mat, and he's had all he can take.
The movie's lowest point comes in a creaking subplot involving a rival school that wants to put South Harmon out of business. The other school wants South Harmon's land to use as a buffer zone, basically to keep the riffraff out.
Still, if you wait and see ACCEPTED for free on cable TV, it's probably worth watching a little of it.
ACCEPTED runs 1:30. It is rated PG-13 for "language, sexual material and drug content" and would be acceptable for kids around 12 and up.