10. 21 & over (2013)
The film is a teen comedy about that entry in life where the forbidden seems accessible without consequence. It doesn’t match The Hangover in clever storytelling nor Superbad in characters many can relate to. It does present the idea of friends, with all their good intentions, get us into tremendous trouble.
It stars Miles Teller and Skylar Astin as a couple friends who desire to take their Asian friend, played by Justin Chon out for his 21st birthday but Chon is under pressure due to his strict father and a job interview the next morning that his father arranged. Structure is basically a series of events where Teller and Astin struggle to find Chon’s dorm. Chon is drunk to the point of having to be carried about.
The rest of the evening consists of being pursued by Latino women after a dorm spanking incident. A group of jocks desire to beat the crap out of them after a bad dart incident. We have a stampeding Bison at a bomb fire that should never be attempted at home. The ending is problematic in its dealing with Chon’s father.
Acting is fine with Teller as the immature one who dropped out of college, and Astin as the guy trying to make something of himself but hauled in by Teller’s influence. Chon is hilarious in a role where he is barely conscious. Sarah Wright as potential Astin love interest Nicole has the personality of a beer mug. Francois Chau as Chon’s overbearing father is a total waste and unfortunately the bunt of applauded disobedience. Some viewers may relate while others may mature to The Hangover.
9. Clueless (1995)
Released in 1995, Clueless is a teen dramedy about, Cher (Alicia Silverstone), a rich Beverly Hills high school student who experiences the ups and downs of teen life in Southern California. Cher hangs with her best friend, Dionne (Stacey Dash), and they befriend a new girl who seems to need their help, Ty (Brittany Murphy). Beyond this, Cher looks for romance and finds it in an unexpected person. Justin Walker is on hand as Cher’s potential beau, Christian, as is Jeremy Sisto; and Paul Rudd as her sometimes annoying, but always reliable ex-stepbrother, Josh.
Like 1982’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High,Clueless transcends the mediocrity and pitfalls of most teen dramedies and breaks the threshold of greatness. While it’s honest about things like dating, sex and cussing, it refuses to overdo any of them and, instead, focuses on the real-life joys, low points and everything in between of a beautiful and goodhearted well-to-do Southern California girl.
The film was a modest hit at the box office and justifiably so. It’s hip, smart, honest and heartwarming. Silverstone is precious and lovable in the title role and easily carries the film. Rudd is equally effective as the ex-stepbrother. Dash is utterly stunning and both Walker and Murphy are competent. The film leaves you with a good feeling.
8. 17 Again (2009)
We thought 17 Again would be one of those teen time swap/romantic comedies that have been done so many times before, with our favorite being 1988’s “Big”. Now there are a rather large amount of clichés and a sense of predictability to make this from being a stand-out feature, but we were pleasantly surprised. It was certainly no High School Musical and the film is smart, endearing, and funny. The film is written well and it pays homage to classic films such as Back to the Future.
Burr Steer’s film is about a 37 year old man named Mike who is unhappy with his life and is going through a divorce with his childhood sweetheart, Scarlet. One day, he gets a surprise when he wakes up as a 17-year-old with a chance to relive his glory days all over again.
The acting was not actually too bad. We had our doubts about Zac Efron, but he actually was able to carry the film without any problems. Leslie Mann did a good job as Scarlet and she had some funny laughs. We really liked the performance as Thomas Lennon, the nerd who never grew up. Our favorite scene was the date with the high school principal and Lennon’s character speaking to her in elfish language.
Overall, 17 Again is a good movie despite being a formulaic comedy. We could predict the film from a mile away, but we believe that as long as we get good acting and good jokes, any predictable comedy can be a good film. We were pleasantly surprised at the outcome of the project and it shows that Efron can actually act instead of being a face for the ladies to goggle at.
7. Sex Drive (2008)
The story revolves around young Ian (Josh Zuckerman) who gets embroiled with an internet hottie named Ms. Tasty in order to lose his virginity. Follow a bunch of sight-gags revolving around penises, breasts, flatulence, the Ahmish and James Marsden’s over the top homophobic big brother to Ian.
Ian, his pal Lance and Ian’s beloved Felicia hitch Rex’s (James Marsden) GTO to head to Knoxville. Along the way they encounter the movie’s sole saving grace in Seth Green, who gets some genuine chuckles as the sarcasm-addicted Ahmish car repairman who saves the day for the group. The movie is quite uneven, however, going from a buddy movie to exploring teen longing to unnecessary gross out humor, leaving its message (Tell your crush that you love them and go from there) behind in some forced scenes.
This film is the best under the radar comedy in history. It’s a usual Road Trip style, go-find-the-girl-and-get-laid story line, but the comedy writing is incredible and absolutely over the top. We swear we have probably never laughed so hard in our lives. Whoever wrote this script is an absolute genius. It still blows our mind how many of our friends have not seen this, and every one we’ve told to watch it that actually has, now has it in their collection.