Directorial debut from Grosse Point Blank writer Steve Pink (not to be confused with wacky radio wind-up merchant Steve Penk) that sees a group of high-school drop-outs setting up their own university because no-one else will take them.
Dodgeball and Apple Mac ad dimwit Justin Long plays Bartleby Gaines - an obscure reference to Herman Melville’s short story "Bartleby the Scrivener", in which the eponymous hero refuses to work when requested – a quick-witted high school loser who gets turned away from every college he applies to.
Fed up with being rejected all his life, and seeing many of his gormless mates suffering the same indignities, Bartleby does the only sensible thing: Using the $10,000 his parents gullibly hand over for tuition fees he renovates a rundown psychiatric hospital and turns it into his own college, the “South Harmon Institute of Technology” – or S.H.I.T. for short, much like the majority of the ensuing 90 minutes entertainment.
“This is the worst idea of all time!”, shrieks Sherman (Hill) when he hears about his best buddy’s idea of setting up their own college for under-achievers, and he’s got a point.
Stereotypical characterisation, embarrassing slapstick comedy, and childish humour – the S.H.I.T. acronym becomes a running joke, i.e., the Dean of the university is called the Shit-Head, get it? – make this a more gruelling 90-minute experience than any university exam.
And even the nubile presence of Playboy starlet Diora Baird (a US version of our own Page 3 favourite Keeley) can’t distract from Long’s final, toe-curling speech about ineptitude being acceptable - something this film proves beyond all doubt is certainly not the case.
When a rival college Dean finally exposes Bartleby’s fraudulent escapades he says: “ok, the joke’s over” – er, sorry, did it ever start?
While 2003’s similarly themed Old School passed its cinematic test with honours thanks to the charm and improvisational flair of its “Frat Pack” stars (Vaughn, Wilson and Ferrell), “Accepted” graduates with only a third class degree.
Staring: Justin Long, Jonah Hill, Adam Herschman, Blake Lively, Columbus Short, Diora Baird
Directed by: Steve Pink