1. Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011) with Joey King
2. Joey King in Battle Los Angeles (2011) with Aaron Eckhart
3. Aaron Eckhart in Rabbit Hole (2010) with Miles Teller
4. Miles Teller in 21 and Over (2013)
The directorial debut from those dudes who wrote The Hangover (Jon Lucas and Scott Moore) has about everything you’d expect: penis jokes, b00bs and a zany quest. I caught an advance screening earlier this week, and I have a feeling that this movie is going to be a big hit.
The first 30 minutes or so had the entire audience (me included) stitches. I’m a sucker for on-point pop culture references, and throwaway jokes like one about “Jason Gordon-Levitt” really got me. It’s actually a really solid comedy until the script gets bogged down in a few too many side adventures and weirdly racist gags.
Without the right cast, this movie would’ve fallen apart. Luckily, the two main leads (Miles Teller and Skylar Astin) have great a rapport. As the laid-back slacker, Teller hits all the right notes in a breakout performance. He’s never over the top, and there’s just something endearing about his character. Teller is going to have a big year, too, with this movie, a big Sundance flick (The Spectacular Now) and a romantic comedy with Zac Efron (Are We Officially Dating?). As the straight man of the duo, Astin doesn’t shine as much as Teller, but he’s always giving his co-stars something to play off of.
Toward the end of the movie, the script briefly touches on truly sobering subjects (I don’t want to spoil anything), and then doesn’t even explore those ideas. If the movie actually went there, I would be impressed, but I was disappointed that the filmmakers chickened out. I wouldn’t recommend this movie to someone looking for anything mildly intellectual, but there are worse movies made for teens than 21 and Over. The movie will never be looked at as a new classic along the veins of the terrific Superbad, but who cares. I laughed. A lot.