CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
Film Review: Drinking ‘The Hangover’ Formula, ‘21 and Over’ is a Poor Man’s ‘Animal House’
CHICAGO – When Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (the writers of “The Hangover” and its sequel) decided to go back in time to college with the same drunk movie formula, their resulting “21 and Over” neglected two major ingredients: being consistently funny and making bold new choices.
Since you’re willingly entering a movie like this to shut down your brain and feast your eyes on human stupidity, that’ll pay off for you in the first 30 minutes. With the remaining short 63 minutes, though, you’ll see that “21 and Over” already blew its load and front-loaded most of its funnies.
After the first third of the film, the rest drags, some of the punch lines flop and dramatic moments that attempt to diversify the film’s humor aren’t emotional. “21 and Over” would have been better served going for pure comedy the whole time – like “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” successfully pulled off – and a script rewrite that took chances beyond “The Hangover” formula we’ve already seen twice now.
|Read Adam Fendelman’s full review of “21 and Over”.|
As for the less-memorable characters in “21 and Over” as compared to “The Hangover,” we have the fast-talking Miller (Miles Teller, “Project X”). Miller gangs up with Casey (Skylar Astin, “Pitch Perfect”) to celebrate Jeff Chang’s (Justin Chon, the “Twilight” series) 21st birthday in true “The Hangover” style – and the night before a major med school exam, of course.
All the while, Casey tries to shag the smiley sorority chick Nicole (Sarah Wright, “The House Bunny”). Casey feels too desperate for her and Nicole feels like she’s just waiting around to be gotten by him. The match is overly scripted, can’t be believed in the real world and doesn’t give the common guy any real hope that he could bag a catch like her.
Image credit: John Johnson, Twenty One and Over Productions