21 and Over is pretty standard college-based comedy fare. Whilst there are some laughs, they are not enough to make the film really memorable.
Jeff Chang’s best friends from school, Casey and Miller, surprise him on his 21st birthday. The pair have a big night out planned, but Jeff has an important medical school interview the next morning. Casey and Miller suggest a few drinks, but this quickly descends into something else…
From the writers of The Hangover, the parallels between the basic premise of the 2009 hit and 21 and Over are abundant. The narrative features standard mishaps. There is not a whole lot of originality in Jon Lucas and Scott Moore’s film.
There are laughs in 21 and Over, although the film does rely upon crude humour. The dialogue apes the quick-fire insulting of Superbad, although it isn’t as successful. Some of the derogatory remarks hit the mark, while others appear a little tired.
The second half of the film ushers in a little seriousness in terms of the motivations of the main characters. This plays out in a rather schmaltzy manner. In attempting to inject some sincerity into the story, the filmmakers call for a depth that simply is not there. This is not a huge hindrance, but the attempted emotion adds nothing to the overall plot.
21 and Over features the requisite elements of the American young male comedy. The soundtrack is integral at times; with the party sequences being raucous.
Performances in 21 and Over are fine. Sklar Astin and Justin Chon are believable as Casey and Jeff Chang respectively. Miles Teller is in danger of being typecast in this type of role however.
21 and Over adds little to the comedy genre. Those who go in will likely know what to expect, and will probably enjoy the film as a result.