Guest Author - Caitlin D Neely
Accepted (directed by Steve Pink) is a humorous, thoughtful and smart take on college and what it truly means to achieve in life.
Bartleby Gaines (Justin Long) is a smooth talking, intelligent but lazy high school graduate that finds himself in a bad predicament; he is rejected from every college he applies to. To keep himself from becoming a failure in the eyes of his overly demanding parents (Mark Derwin and Ann Cusack) he creates The South Harmon Institute of Technology, a fake college. To the dismay of his best friend Sherman Schrader (Jonah Hill), he accepts himself into the college along with his friends (Maria Thayer, Adam Herschman and Columbus Short).
But when more than 100 students show up on the first day Bartleby must go to far greater lengths than he imagined to keep the charade up.
The movieís opinion on college and academics is refreshing. The college application process is brutal. Qualified students get turned down. Then there are students who slack in high school but are searching for a second chance. Bartlebyís Ďfakeí college shows that there are students who can succeed and discover themselves in college regardless of their past performances. Itís good to know that there are colleges out there that accept even those that didnít get straight Aís in high school or a perfect ACT score. In the process his college that was essentially fake at the beginning becomes more real and turns into more than merely a scheme to fool his parents.
One of my favorite characters in the movie is Glen played by Adam Herschman. His one liners and ability to snag pretty college co-eds is hilarious. He is a suave man that doesnít appear to be one. He proves that looks donít count half as much as personality.
Bartleby is another surprise. He is lazy but any audience member will be able to spot the genius bubbling under the surface. He also has witty and clever one liners that bite through the stereotypical Harmon students and the restrictions colleges place on students.
The only problem with Accepted that bugs me is the concept. Itís unrealistic that they are able to start a college no matter how much money they have in their possession. The accreditation is also far-fetched. But it is a movie and I am willing to suspend reality. Movies are allowed to push the limits. The social commentary on colleges shows that reality was tested for a reason; to illustrate that while the movieís concept doesnít always make sense, neither does real life.