Accepted

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Accepted
Photograph: Courtesy Suzanne Hanover/Universal Pictures

Time Out says

Who expected the shrewdest college-movie piss take since Horse Feathers—and weirdly, the ideological bookend to Animal House—in the middle of this cinematically boneheaded summer? Larky in the extreme, Steve Pink’s warm, fitfully hilarious and unexpectedly radical Accepted concerns Bartleby (Long), a scheming high-school graduate who compensates for his chronic university rejection by founding one: South Harmon Institute of Technology. The place takes on a life of its own with the help of Bartleby’s endearingly geeky pals, and before you can say “UC Santa Cruz,” it has a shaggy student body, a raging burnout dean (Black, whose characteristic rants are right on target) and a grade-free, self-designed curriculum.

Okay, so the freedom offered to SHIT-heads doesn’t look so different from the antics at any garden-variety party school, but it’s the motive that counts. Where John Landis’s archetypal 1978 slob-com rolled out the red carpet for a generation’s greed, self-indulgence and political indifference, Accepted suggests that academe can be an incubator for something besides predatory capitalism and hollow moral rectitude. All, incredibly, without skimping on the tit and shit jokes, or on the self-indulgence. (Opens Fri; Click here for venues.) — Mark Holcomb

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