21 and Over: Comedy isn't high on the funny scale

By Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comFebruary 28, 2013 

21 and Over casts Miles Teller (Footloose) as Miller. He surprises his two high school best friends, who are now in college, with a visit. It's Jeff Chang's 21st birthday. Miller insists that Jeff celebrate the big day and go out with he and the other friend, Casey. Jeff has an important career-making meeting the following morning set up by his mean, control-freak dad and really doesn't want to go.

But there wouldn't be much of a movie if he didn't.

Much nonstop and rapid-fire nagging later Miller, Casey and Jeff are seen downing shots and beers in a bar. A scene or two later, Jeff is plastered and incoherent and the two friends have no clue how to find their way back to his apartment.

That launches the adventure-filled night filled with an impossible number of things to get done. Only in a movie can characters cover that much territory. It also launches what is supposed to pass for comedy.

While I didn't find the film particularly funny, to be fair, it wasn't aimed at me. This is a 30 and under flick. A lot of you -- especially those that don't go to many movies -- will laugh.

But a lot of you won't.

A real plus: Most of the entertainment comes from the acting. The three young leads -- Teller, Skylar Astin (Pitch Perfect) and Justin Chow (a small part in all Twilight movies) -- have a blast and their enthusiasm is hard not to share. Teller is especially funny when he takes off on what appears to be stream-of-consciousness blathering. His two co-stars are perfect second fiddles.

Also look for Pasco native Raquael Torres, who plays a woman in a sorority house that the three guys crash. She's pretty good too.

21 and Over is being compared to The Hangover. Part of the reason is the two writers and directors -- Scott Moore and Jon Lucas -- helped write The Hangover. The other reason is that it runs along a similar theme. Partying gets out of control, one thing leads to another and the three main characters are in what are supposed to be impossibly funny situations.

The comparison has one fatal flaw. The Hangover is hurt you funny. 21 and Over has a laugh or two, but on a comedy scale of one to 10, with The Hangover being a 10, 21 and Over is a two.

Directors: Jon Lucas, Scott Moore

Stars: Miles Teller, Skylar Astin, Justin Chon, Sarah Wright

Mr. Movie rating: 2 1/2 stars

Rated R for mature themes, language, brief nudity. It's playing at the Carmike 12 and at the Fairchild Cinemas 12.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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