Accepted is one of those rare occurrences. The acting is good, the comedy is actually funny, and the concept is great. In fact, I’m so in love with the premise that I am probably going to end up being easy on this thing.
Essentially, Accepted is a movie about Bartley Gaines (Justin Long), a high school graduate that got rejected by all of the colleges he applied to. With the cooperation of his friend, Sherman Schrader (played by Jonah Hill), he manages to create an acceptance letter and website for a fake institution known as South Harmon Institute of Technology (yes, S.H.I.T. for short).
Gaines’ suspicious and meticulous parents have to be reassured of the existence of such a place, so he ends up having to find a suitable dean and create a semi-passable campus. Because Schrader was given the task of creating as legitimate of a website as possible, real students start showing up, and Gaines somehow has to make good on his promise for himself and for the sake of other rejects just like him.
My Pet Peeve
I take issue with Bartleby’s father, Jack. In the end, I think all characters come to the conclusion that higher learning isn’t just about going to a “prestigious”, “accredited” college. However, before that growth takes place, Jack has this to say:
Okay cut the crap Bartleby. Society has rules and the first rule is: You go to college. You wanna have a happy and successful life, you go to college. If you wanna be somebody, you go to college. If you wanna fit in, you go to college.
In my personal opinion, the only true statement is the last: “If you wanna fit in, you go to college.” The rest is a load of cow manure.
Again, I do have to give the movie credit for addressing some of the issues with education. There truly is a need for institutions to foster creative thinking in young people and not merely regurgitate useless facts.
If the premise sounds interesting to you, then you’ll probably end up liking this movie. With a PG-13 rating, it’s not the most obscene movie I’ve seen either, though there are more than enough allusions to suggestive imagery and activities.
Where education fails, and society tends to fail in general, is in addressing how one wants to live their life. We are encouraged to find what we enjoy or what we’re good at, but rarely are we asked about the kind of results we want. Going to college (or not) is a decision that should flow out of that type of consideration; not because it will make you happy or successful (which are lies anyway).
Moreover, there are other options. You can become a business owner. You can become an entrepreneur. In this day and age, starting a business doesn’t have to be expensive or risky.
Starting a school that is driven by its students is a movement in the right direction. Encouraging students to think about where they want to end up is an even better context for students that formal education simply does not offer.
AS Rating: (7 / 10)