Here’s hoping ’21 And Over’ is nothing like your actual birthday


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The writers of “The Hangover” directed “21 and Over,” which feels like every other college-themed movie ever produced, drunken bull-riding included.

Elizabeth Freda, Writer

Directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, writers of the 2009 favorite “The Hangover,” bring us a movie with a fair amount of potential. The premise of the movie, three best friends celebrating a 21st birthday, leaves plenty of room for jokes and references that could appeal well to the college demographic.

Unfortunately, “21 and Over” fails to harness its full potential. Although it is laced with moments that made me chuckle, I didn’t find myself laughing out loud, something Lucas and Moore are clearly capable of delivering.

Playing Miller, Miles Teller has a few comedic gems despite his poorly written character. Although Miller turns out to be a pretty smart guy in the end, Teller creates a mildly irritating and fairly offensive character with an extreme proclivity for partying.

Skylar Astin of “Pitch Perfect” fame plays the role of Miller’s best friend Casey, who is charming yet kind of bland. Astin seems to be a good call in terms of casting, but I would have liked to see his character loosen up a bit more.

The Miller-Casey dynamic also had a lot of potential with the polarization of the two personality types. The experience of two high school friends trying to fix their strained relationship in college is something many can relate to. The writing left the actors little to work with though, but they manage.

Playing the blond, beautiful and unattainable woman of the film is Sarah Wright. She clearly has not stepped out of the box as an actress, seeing as her character, Nicole, lines up well with her most of her previous roles. However, Wright and Astin’s onscreen dynamic is charming, fun to watch and one of the more positive aspects of the film.

During the lull in the movie’s plot, which seems to consist of the entire middle portion of the film, Justin Chon is the actor that kept me interested. His character, Jeff Chang, who is turning 21 but has a major medical school interview the next morning, provides a lot of the film’s comedy and substance.

Chang’s drunken debauchery delivered laughs. However, it was his flaws that intrigued me. Chon’s character is entertaining and wild, all while in the middle of the whirlwind that is figuring out his future.

Lucas and Moore have proved to us in the past that they are capable of delivering quick and clever humor, the kind you love to quote with your friends. However, “21 and Over” did not meet its potential. It was clearly done by the same writers as “The Hangover,” but with fewer one-liners and less relatable characters.

Overall, “21 and Over” feels like a comedy I’ve already seen, but with less of a spark. It was fairly enjoyable, yet nothing to get overly excited about.