If you know me, you know that I have a special kind of love for all the 2000s comedies. Especially the ones that are a bit sexier and raunchier. However, the movie we’re going to be talking about today is a bit different. Accepted is your old-school mainstream college comedy featuring a lot of positive energy and a great cast. It’s also a lot more subversive than I remember it to be, questioning the meaning behind higher education. We will talk about that a bit later because first I want to bring your attention to the cast. We not only have charismatic Justin Long in the lead role and loveable Jonah Hill as his best buddy but also charming Blake Lively in one of her first big roles.
Popular comedian Lewis Black, however, stole the show for me as the fake Dean Ben Lewis. His rants here were precise, intelligent, and hilariously cynical. He’s one of the main reasons why you should check this movie out. And do take a look at his specials as the man is insanely funny. I just love his straightforward and oftentimes frantically black humor. Accepted is a movie about Bartleby, a high schooler who was rejected by every college he applied to. With the pressure from his parents mounting, he decides to make a fake college and things quickly spiral out of control from there. The movie uses this premise to question the validity of our system of higher education.
Moreover, it also shines a bright light on the amount of pressure, anxiety, and stress brought on by this process. Not to mention those despicable good old fraternity traditions. I would tell you that I vividly remember just how much pressure I was on to get into a college but that would be an understatement. My father spent years and years drilling into my head the notion that if I didn’t get into college I would be digging ditches by the side of the road. So, this was just a given fact of life, I had to get into college no matter what. In that sense, you can say that I internalized that pressure along with my feelings surrounding the whole affair.
Of course, it goes without saying that the reality was much, much different than what he told me. I ended up getting into that college after months and months of hard work. However, I stayed there for a freakishly long time, Van Wilder-style. As time went on, I slowly but surely realized that not only did I want to study something else but also that almost everything I learned was outdated and sometimes downright nasty. Just to be clear, I have an economics degree and I did have to learn what EBITA is. Despite the apparent need for so many ditch diggers, I actually ended up getting a good IT job while I was still in the process of getting my diploma.
Now, I tell my experience as a cautionary tale that might help you relieve some of that stress you’re feeling. With that being said, I do have to point out that we do live in a world where your chances of success are much higher with any kind of degree. So, Accepted might be more thought-provoking than you initially thought. Something that’s kind of hard to figure out with all the silliness you’re about to witness. It comes as no surprise that actors did a lot of improvisation, coming up with their own jokes and gags. There are no laugh-out-loud moments here but the atmosphere is just so energetic and uplifting that it more than enough makes up for that.
So much so that I felt I was stealing their youth through the fucking screen. Although Justin Long was 27 years old at the time of the filming of the movie Accepted. Finally, if you’re looking for similar movies check out Senseless, Orange County, and How High. Of course, these are all a bit milder, mainstream comedies. If you want the heavy stuff start with movies like Superbad and American Pie.
Director: Steve Pink
Writers: Mark Perez, Adam Cooper, Bill Collage
Cast: Justin Long, Jonah Hill, Blake Lively, Lewis Black, Columbus Short, Adam Herschman, Mark Derwin
Fun Facts: The entire movie features just one mention of the word fuck with the other bleeped out so they could get a PG-13 rating. On the other hand, the word shit appears whopping 62 times in the script.