So far 2013 is off to a bad start with comedies. Trailers for Movie 43 and Identity Thief made attempts to make their movies look like comic greatness, only to leave viewers disappointed and disgusted at the theatre. However, 21 & Over is surprisingly hilarious. While the film is overly raunchy like the other "comedy" films this year, it is smart, funny, and also finds a way to tie a message in about the power of friendship.
At first, 21 & Over's plot seems like it is just recycling a story line previously used by the writers in their other popular film, The Hangover. Three friends get together to celebrate a big moment in one of their lives (this occasion being Jeff Chang's 21st birthday), and end up getting drunk and into far-fetched trouble. Hilarity ensues. However, the film is not all drunken misfortunes. While the boys may find themselves in situations that would never happen in real life, the script actually has a lot of pretty serious moments that round out the movie. Keep an open mind. Yes, the film is silly and at times repulsively gross. It has excellent one-liners, though, mainly shouted at people indifferently by Miller (Miles Teller).
However, the script also tries to force a romantic storyline between Casey (Skylar Astin) and Nicole (Sarah Wright) that derails from the feel of the movie. It is possibly even more implausable than the antics the three friends get into all night. While you cannot deny that the two actors have great chemistry on-screen, everything between them happens too quickly and the writers try to wrap it in a nice little bow instead of having a realistic approach to how one night of knowing someone would end up.
21 & Over has the power to make you cry from both laughter and sadness, while also making you divert your eyes from the screen so that you do not projectile vomit on the person in front of you. It has some hilarious lines, but also packs a punch with dramatic situations. It is flawed, but if you are just out to be entertained by a fun film and get a few laughs, 21 & Over is your best bet.