Marrieds at the Movies: One Couple's Review of '21 and Over'

Every Friday night, sends cinephiles (and newlyweds) Sarah and Joe Piccirillo to see a film. Afterwards, they answer a few questions about it. Below is their discussion.

Synopsis: Miller (Miles Teller) and Casey (Skylar Astin) take out childhood pal Jeff Chang (Justin Chon) to celebrate his 21st birthday. Problem is, Jeff has an important interview in the morning, and it looks like he might not make it.

Is This a Good Date Movie?

Joe: I dreaded seeing this movie.

Sarah: I didn’t even tell people we were going.

Joe: A smart man is not going to take a date to see this film. By the end of the movie, she would rather be drinking with the guys on screen than spending more time with the boring guy sitting next to her who suggested a movie.

Sarah: Well, but it does is set a pretty good tone to go out drinking afterward. You can see how compatible the two of you are on an "offensive or funny" spectrum.


It Was Written by the Same Team That Wrote The Hangover. How Does This Measure Up?

Sarah: Well, it’s… the same plot.

Joe: It’s like that saying, "Write what you know." What happened to these writers?

Sarah: Right. What huge life event did they almost miss by getting hammered and lost? Honestly, though, I liked this. For a movie that celebrates binge drinking, hooking up, and breaking a lot of laws, it feels weirdly wholesome.

Joe: So many Hangover knock-offs focus only on the antics and forget about the characters.

Sarah: You mean like Project X.

Joe: Yeah. These writers know that if you create characters that people like, you can put them in any absurd situation and the audience will go along for the ride.

Sarah: Considering I expected a long-form Axe Body Spray commercial, I thought this was a surprising win.

Joe: It’s in the tradition of American Pie or even early John Hughes movies. They’re all about makeshift families – how your friends can be your support system – and that’s what hits home. Not the gratuitous barfing. This movie is really about three best friends from high school who’ve drifted apart and are scared to lose the safety of those relationships now that they’re graduating college. Why the studio decided to market this as a brainless retread of Weekend at Bernie’s only with a drunk Asian kid instead of a dead guy is a sad mystery.


Cliché Meter

Joe: The movie is surprisingly light on cliché --

Sarah: I have to interrupt you here. I thought that too, but then I made a list. May I?  

·         Zany best friend

·         Full frontal

·         Protracted unwitting ingestion of gross inedible objects

·         Exotic animals

·         Cop car chases with no consequences

·         Getting the courage to follow your dreams

·         Closeted homophobic cheerleader

Joe: Oh, man. I didn’t even notice. It’s like when you like someone, you don’t care about their flaws.


What Will You Be Thinking About Tomorrow?

Sarah: That I need to brush up on my drinking games. I knew most of the ones they showed, but for two I had no idea what was going on. Like the one where they were throwing hand gestures to each other?

Joe: Were they playing Fallen with Denzel Washington?

Sarah: I also like the slo-mo vomit scene and the fact that it spawned a conversation between us about the merits and nuance of slow-mo vomit scenes.

Joe: Nuance, huh? There are two loose ends that are going to bug me. First, why is Jeff Chang carrying a gun? Second, the movie opens with the guys taking a taxi to Jeff Chang’s house, which means they have his address. This movie should be ten minutes long.



Sarah: I laughed more than I expected to, and didn’t get annoyed except for a few weak minutes at a Latina sorority when the movie went all Porky’s. It made me both glad that’s not my version of partying anymore and reminiscent for my early twenties. See it.

Joe: Yep. I feel like I went on a journey with these guys. Just like I did with The Hangover. See it.


Sarah and Joe are writers/editors who live in Boston. They met in a bar and married within a year. They love to argue about early Woody Allen films and old romantic comedies. They both agree to hate musicals.

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