Accepted

Opens at Meridian and Oak Tree, Fri., Aug. 18. Rated PG-13. 93 minutes.

So you didn't get into Yale, Harvard, or even your "safety" school? So what? There's always the backup of backups to get your parents off your case: Make up your own fake college. Make a fake Web site, a fake building, a fake dean, and fake everything! And then when hundreds of other college rejects show up at your doorstep, take their tuition and create your own alterna-college.

Conjuring up flashbacks of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Animal House, Risky Business, P.C.U., Van Wilder, and your own first-time-away-from-home dormitory parties, Accepted will succeed solely on your recollection of coming-of-age moments gone horribly wrong, then right again. Led by the very Ferris-looking Justin Long as the affable Bartleby Gaines, who schemes up the South Harmon Institute of Technology (what would that make the acronym? Think hard), the cast is neither unique nor unappealing. You can expect cleavage from the girls and evil schemes from the pretty frat boys.

You can also expect to find that Accepted's aspiration to be American Pie on campus falls short of the less free-lovin' modern reality of college. (I know, because I'm still there; résumé padding and Facebook.com take up all the extracurricular time once reserved for keggers and sex.) The movie feels like it was written in the '80s, perhaps by your dad, then finally brought to light of production. Accepted hops on the bandwagon of a genre established by National Lampoon, making the laughs familiar because they're about 30 years old. KATIE BECKER

 
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