JeffChang. JeffChang. JeffChang. Can somebody please explain to this reviewer why it would be so funny to have the two main characters(and yes, make no doubt about it – Jeff Chang’s buddies Miller and Casey are the main characters) constantly refer to their friend using his full name every single time he’s referenced in the screenplay? One could claim poor writing or a mistake, but since everyone else calls him Jeff, it’s obvious the choice was deliberate.
That is just one of the many examples of “21 and Over” trying to force laughs down the viewer’s throats. Slow motion vomiting isn’t funny. It wasn’t funny at normal speed in “Identity Thief.” At one point, the now-of-drinking age college student eats a feminine hygiene product, and the camera just lingers way too long. This reviewer could actually sense the audience’s emotional progression during the shot. It went from laughter to a chuckle. Then it went to a nervous chuckle. Then it went to silence – joke fail. Not to mention the fact that if this reviewer was ever so drunk as to mistake a feminine hygiene product for candy he’d probably give up alcohol all together.
But perhaps this movie is aimed at the binge-drinking crowd, or at least the less-mature college student. Or perhaps this guy is just too old. It doesn’t help that this reviewer just read an article about the dangers of binge drinking in this month’s Men’s Health. But that doesn’t change the fact that “21 and Over” is never as outrageous as it thinks it is, and it’s hardly funny. When the movie throws a love interest for Casey in the mix early on, it becomes abundantly clear that Jeff Chang won’t be the center of attention. Heck, he spends most of the film passed out drunk or passed out from blunt-force head trauma. He’s more of a prop than a character with dialogue, which is a little bit offensive.
“21 and Over” tries too hard to be edgy and funny, and just annoys in the process. The love interest seems to pop up inexplicably wherever Casey goes, but all the scenarios are pretty inexplicable. Unlike “The Hangover” that this piece tries to mimic, the dilemma of the main characters wouldn’t need ninety minutes for a solution. They merely can’t find their way back to Jeff Chang’s apartment. That’s it. And while they are doing a terrible job of watching over their obliterated friend, Casey and Miller keep finding out that Jeff has a lot of problems-serious problems. But Jeff is unconscious, so that allows them to go on talking about themselves instead. At least until it is time for another drink, or time for Jeff to wake up with ten minutes of run time for it all to be smoothed over. This reviewer was half expecting a big cameo in one pivotal scene, but who would want to leave their fingerprints on this crime scene?
“21 and Over” is written and directed by the two guys who penned the original “The Hangover”, so it’s nice to see they are branching out. One would think that with two people sitting behind the camera, at least one of them would sense they were heading in the wrong direction. Maybe people just have a different sense of humor. A lot of people in the screening last night seemed to have a good time with it. People who want to watch unlikeable, narcissistic characters booze it up while saying “Jeff Chang” a million times might find this right up their alley(hey, they are drinking so it’s automatically funny!). Others shouldn’t waste their time.