Casey and Miller surprise their High School bud, Jeff Chang, on the day of his 21'st birthday for a wild night of booze and fun. Problem is Jeff has a med school interview at seven am and if he misses it his dad will kill him. After some coaxing, the boys head out for a night they won't soon forget.
I remember seeing the poster for 21 & OVER about a month or two ago and thinking, "what the hell is that?" Why? Because this film got virtually no viral or commercial advertising up until about a month or so ago. I mean I get it, this is another PROJECT X (which got even less advertising) looking comedy about guys getting hammered and pulling off over the top antics, but so was SUPERBAD and look at how much advertising that got. And it's not like this is coming from chumps in the writing department as it's from the boys who brought us THE HANGOVER, THE HANGOVER 2, FOUR CHRISTMASES and THE CHANGE-UP. Jon Lucas and Scott Moore know their comedy, so why no buzz? I'm disappointed simply because this flick was pretty damn funny as far as this type of movie goes.
The key dynamic for these movies comes via the casting. Were EUROTRIP or SEX DRIVE all that great? Not really, but they were funny as hell due to the camaraderie of the cast. The exact same thing can be said of all the movies I've mentioned thus far, and the good news is these guys work well off one another and make for some truly funny moments. Sure, the dialogue is raunchy, but it's still witty and comes off as real as best friends can get. I like the friend dynamic here, it's nothing new, but as a guy who went through this, I know for a fact you don't ever have friends in your life like you did when you were in High School and University. Once the trials of life hit, it's easy to see these bonds weaken. They don't ever go away, you might have that once a year or once every couple years venture, but it's never the same and it's a daunting feeling when it finally hits you.
Friendship is at the heart of this film, but wild partying and hilarious circumstances are what fuel the ride. Jeff Chang is that adorable guy you can never get mad at or hate. He's pumped to be 21 and as such gets more and more aggressive as he approaches each bouncer guarding the doors of the next bar in their path. His behavior inside is even better. I loved the mechanical bull bit (I have to say though, who in their right mind tries to do that with a stomach full of booze) and though gross, the peeing part was absolutely priceless--somewhere R. Kelly is nodding his head in approval. But the boys aren't one song wonders here, all that happens in the first half hour. The rest of the film features poor Jeff Chang passed out (of sorts) in a WEEKEND AT BERNIE'S style adventure with his two buds, Miller and Casey. Trust me, those two are just as entertaining, if not more so. Oh, and Jeff Chang's dad = awesome.
21 & OVER is another hit when it comes to raunchy, over-the-top laughs with friends, booze and ripping it up like it's nineteen ninety-nine. These films aren't for everyone, but the people who love them (like me) will appreciate what this entry brings to the table. I feel for the boys' main plight--they came back to visit Jeff Chang at his dorm and since they'd never been there before, have no idea how to get him home once he passes out--because when me and my buddy Dave went to visit our friend Jenessa in Toronto (for the first time), we all got wasted and hit a rave bar, but when it was time to go home we thought we could walk back and find her place without her. We got lost and walked for three hours. We didn't stir up any mascots, shoot guns or steal cars, but as farfetched as this movie's premise may sound, it's an easy mistake to make. Crashing a female dorm or two along the way would've been a fun way to pass the time.