Ferris Bueller meets Animal House in Accepted, a disposable slacker-com that marks the directorial debut of Grosse Pointe Blank writer Steve Pink. Dodgeball nerd Justin Long plays Bartleby, a would-be freshman who, rocked by one college rejection after another, sets up his own bogus institute of higher learning where no qualifications are required for matriculation. (Didn't they used to be called polytechnics?) Predictable tomfoolery ensues, culminating in a defence of mediocrity that's only too fitting for this resolutely unambitious caper.
Bartleby, as any boffin will inform you, was the name of a Herman Melville character who stubbornly refused to work. Unfortunately that's as clever as things get in Pink's flick, most of whose jokes derive from the 'South Harmon Institute of Technology's oh-so-hilarious acronym and the assorted freaks who line up to become its students. Mild conflict is supplied by a posh uni down the road appalled by this incursion into their turf. And of course there's the inevitable romance, Long taking time out of his non-existent studies to woo a pretty collegian (Blake Lively) improbably impressed by his fraudulent activities.
"This is so cheesy, in the greatest way!" gushes Lively at one point. No, dear, it's just cheesy, the scenario's initial promise frittered away in a series of lame skits, frat-boy antics and wearisome rants from the college's outspoken dean (stand-up Lewis Black). Oh, well: at least the courses cooked up by Long and his pals ('Advanced Skepticism', 'Taking A Walk And Thinking About Stuff') provoke the occasional guffaw.