Monday, July 24, 2006

MovieWatch: "Accepted"

Director: Steve Pink
Fien Print Rating (Out of 100): 60
In a Nutshell: Take a little "Back to School" and add a dash of "How I Got Into College," "Animal House," "Revenge of the Nerds," "Risky Business," "Old School," and "PCU" and you have a concoction that would more than somewhat resemble "Accepted," a warm-hearted up-with-outcasts college comedy that engenders much good will either despite or because of its sloppy look and derivative plot. In addition to those other films I mentioned, "Accepted" also reminded me a lot of "Office Space," in that it's a loosely made film with more cult value than cinematic. Steve Pink, co-writer of "High Fidelity," doesn't seem to have much idea of where to put the camera and the screenplay doesn't care much for logic, but in this story of rejects who form their own fake college, it's the stars who stand out. Justin Long proves he can carry a movie (not necessarily that he can carry "movies," but that he can carry this one) and there are hilarious supporting turns from Jonah Hill and from Maria Thayer, who I've had a crush on since her days as Tammi Littlenut on "Strangers With Candy." Trying to gauge Universal's faith in this movie is difficult. On one hand, the studio held oodles of free screenings during Comic-Con this past weekend and lured thousands of people to a free BBQ and beerfest one evening. On the other hand, within a month of its release, Universal's press site has exactly two images for the movie and captions for both pictures have an incorrect April 21 open date. Obviously, the theory is that if the movie's going to open, it's going to do so via word-of-mouth and not traditional channels. I'm not convinced that it'll work theatrically, but I'll bet "Accepted" eventually finds a big audience on DVD. I'm not sure it's a good movie, but I'm sure it has a goofy charm.

Check Zap2it sometime around Aug. 11 for my full review.


  1. In your comment on what movies this takes bits and pieces of I noticed you didn't mention "Camp Nowhere," which the ads certainly have the feel of, down to the Christopher Lloyd character, this time being done by Lewis Black. Is it just an impression given by the trailer or does it hold up throughout the film?

  2. Are you going to think less of my extensive knowledge of cinema if I admit that I've never seen "Camp Nowhere"? I vaguely recall the existance of said film, but I'm a "Meatballs" man, myself...

  3. "Camp Nowhere" is a movie in which a bunch of kids setup a pretend sleep away camp with no counselors or other authority figures. And once their parents come to visit they get Christopher Lloyd to pretend like he's really running the place.

    And, I hereby think less of your extensive knowledge of cinema.

  4. Hmmm... Well, once you put it that way, I can absolutely see where one might find similarities between those two films. Since I'll be talking to the director/producers on Saturday, maybe I'll ask them about it... Perhaps accuse them of thiefin' the idea.

    I certainly don't have anything more intelligent to inquire about...

  5. If you do get the chance I would greatly appreciate your asking that question. Myself, I've never been to an event where I would've had such an opportunity.