Accepted Steve Pink

Accepted Steve Pink
Accepted follows the long-running tradition of comedies that root for the underdog as he’s pitted against some unpleasant force that must be conquered and fed a piece of that tasty humble pie.

Bartleby Gaines (Waiting’s Justin Long) didn’t get into college. Neither did his friends. So when the parents come knocking asking what school they’ll be attending, Bartleby and his friends impulsively devise a bogus school called the South Harmon Institute of Technology (yes, S.H.I.T.).

At first, things go according to plan; they set up a website, find an abandoned mental asylum to convert into a temporary campus and fool the folks. However, they get in over their heads when it turns out anyone can be accepted into South Harmon and hundreds of high school graduates without a college come knocking. This forces Bartleby and his crew into desperate measures, and all of a sudden they’re running an illegitimate college where the curriculum ranges from taking a walk and thinking about stuff to trying to blow things up with your mind (which is far less funny than you’d think).

Of course, there is a rival school, the real Harmon College, which tries to put a kibosh on S.H.I.T.’s activities, but I think you already know what happens when the cinematic underdog faces the stronger, cockier pit-bull. Accepted doesn’t bring anything new to the table besides a somewhat likable situation for anyone who’s attended a post-secondary institution, which by today’s outrageous comedy standards is treated rather meekly.

Directed by first-timer Steve Pink, who was the screenwriter for Grosse Pointe Blank and High Fidelity, the film doesn’t go for it the way Adam McKay or Todd Phillips would. Kudos to giving Justin Long, the new face of Mac computers, a lead role, which he does as much with as he can, but taken as a whole, Accepted is mostly unacceptable. (Universal)