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Overall Rating

Awesome: 9.59%
Worth A Look67.12%
Average: 13.7%
Pretty Bad: 8.22%
Total Crap: 1.37%

9 reviews, 19 user ratings

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by Erik Childress

"Have These Kids Never Heard Of Fine Arts Schools?"
3 stars

I used to think there was something terrifying about getting into college. Despite having good grades and a positive list of extracurricular achievements, I was still put under the spell of fear that not getting accepted would destroy my future and the even greater dread that not choosing the right school would diminish the chances of learning what I really wanted to do. Part of this came from the variety of high school movies I saw back in grade school and it continued through about my Sophomore year at Driscoll Catholic. I didn’t have high hopes that a film like Accepted would be the all-knowing potshot of collegiate aspirations and those hopes were confounded by the end of it. But in-between the lines there are some truly funny bits in a film that is somewhat as confused as the students who inhabit it.

Bartleby Gaines (Justin Long) falls somewhere in-between the Matthew Broderick clever slackers of ’83 & ’86 and your run-of-the-mill slacker unable to get a single acceptance letter from any college he applied to. Publicly shamed at a graduation party and his parents never more disappointed, Bartleby strikes up the scam of a fake acceptance letter and website created by his only college-bound friend, Sherman (Jonah Hill, the goldfish boots-buyin’ e-Bay customer from The 40 Year-Old Virgin). When pride-filled dad wants to drive him to campus though, more drastic measures must be met.

Helped by a $10,000 first semester check, Bartleby along with help from fellow college dejects, Rory (Maria Thayer) and Hands (Columbus Short) fix-up an abandoned looney bin and turn it into the South Hampton Institute for Technology. How quickly you grasp the anagram may measure how far you allow yourself to go with the most elaborate scam since…since…no, this is the most elaborate scam of all time. Once the ruse is complete with hired campus extras and a burned-out former administrator with a cynical eye on the state of education posing as the dean (Lewis Black, I guess George Carlin was busy), what do they plan to do with the rest of their apparent four years? Thanks to Sherman’s all-too-functional webpage, South Hampton will soon have themselves a full-fledged alumni when every wannabe student gets their own acceptance letter.

While screenwriters Mark Perez (The Country Bears, Herbie Fully Loaded), Adam Cooper and Bill Collage (New York Minute) do their damndest making the leap from scam to an active college experience, it’s a wonderment why not one student (even…justone) stops to question the off-the-cuff approach to learning. Without teachers, the students learn for themselves. As social satire, it’s worthy to discuss if such a methodology is more beneficial than boring adults dispensing old wisdom and flat text. This is a teen comedy though, so while it goes for the climactic anti-establishment speeches, it never gets past the fact that these are little more than underachievers who never once thought to try applying to a fine arts school. Hell, they’ll take anyone. How about the Maryland school in Step Up? They didn’t appear to have any teachers either.

Accepted is not without its share of laughs though. Justin Long plays the door-in-the-face one too many times, but occasionally lets loose with the kind of under-the-radar zinger that shows he’s much smarter than his character as written. Jonah Hill proves he’s more than just the loyal fat guy as the only one keeping things in perspective and calling out their absurdity in the moment. Black’s rants about the educational system in America are a bit too subdued to make its full statement and his manic finger-pointing shtick is more a hindrance in his early scenes than the short bursts of brilliance we’ve seen from him on The Daily Show.

Coming dangerously close to just being a riff on Back to School without the genius of Rodney Dangerfield (complete with snotty frats, rival parties and the nice girl in-between played by Blake Lively of the Travelling Pants Sisterhood), Accepted never reaches its potential for satire and yet is funnier than your average gross-out comedy. Kinda like the class clown which occasionally amuses, but is usually kicked out of class, Accepted would have had a future had it more often listened to its elders than just flash the momentary display of wit. Accepted could have been a new generation’s Animal House instead of just a 90-minute lark no doubt to be used as another time killer for wasteful collegiates.

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originally posted: 08/19/06 00:28:43
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User Comments

7/21/08 Samantha Pruitt pretty funny, Jonah Hill is awesome! This was an interesting idea for a movie. 4 stars
7/19/08 Shaun Wallner This was a funny movie. 4 stars
3/02/08 SamanthaPayntr super unbelievable, but still super funny, and i love Jonah Hill! 4 stars
2/11/08 donald it was junny but unbelievable. 3 stars
11/24/07 Tiffany Losco Pretty funny. 4 stars
9/30/07 Sardonic Monkey Some fun laughs, but the plot was a little too far-fetched, plus some cardboard characters. 3 stars
7/11/07 Charles Tatum Formulaic, but still a charming little flick with actual laughs 4 stars
7/07/07 AnnieG My son headed to college this year refused to watch it, but I found it cute. 3 stars
3/29/07 zak Good TP. Took me back. 4 stars
12/20/06 Horny Bitch OMG! I was ready to fuck after I saw it 5 stars
11/30/06 Drew Galletti Not as bad as I expected... actually pretty funny 3 stars
11/23/06 Zaw Very funny flick. I couldn't believe I waited this long to see this one! 5 stars
9/12/06 Michael Coovert Loved it!! Light-hearted but with a real, meaningful message!! 5 stars
9/09/06 michael good story 2 see funny too 5 stars
9/08/06 Tiffany It was really funny 4 stars
9/03/06 Ryan Darc i thought this movie kicked ass... one of the better movies ive seen in awhile 5 stars
8/28/06 Adam Halarious! The perfect movie to see when you hve some spare times 5 stars
8/23/06 nick this movie was so funny 5 stars
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  18-Aug-2006 (PG-13)
  DVD: 14-Nov-2006



Directed by
  Steve Pink

Written by
  Mark Perez
  Adam Cooper
  Bill Collage

  Justin Long
  Lewis Black
  Anthony Heald
  Jonah Hill
  Blake Lively
  Maria Thayer

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