Bask in the Nostalgic ‘21 and Over’ Bash
Published: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Updated: Thursday, March 14, 2013 14:03
It comes as no surprise that the writers of "The Hangover" felt compelled to create a movie that trails three friends attempting to survive an alcohol-induced night of unexpected and unexplainable events. Writers and directors of the film "21 and Over," Jon Lucas and Scott Moore, flawlessly portrayed the most anticipated and wildly unpredictable night in everyone's lives – their 21st birthday.
Writing from a sort of wish-fulfilling and nostalgic place, Lucas and Moore transport the audience smack dab in the middle of a hysterically outlandish plot that will have audience members begging for a chance to re-live their college years.
"I didn't have this crazy of a college experience, but I think Scott and I always write from a place of nostalgia,” Lucas says. “We're very happily married with little kids and stuff so this is not our lives anymore but it is awesome that I get to go to my garage and spend all day writing it and then go out and make it in Seattle. It's a way to stay in contact with that sort of fun."
Despite riotous mishaps and pithy dialogue, the movie explores the limitations that arise when friendships are tested.
Lucas and Moore both wrote and directed the film, adding their hilariously unique perspective and directional thoughts to the script as well as the screen.
"I think we definitely have a new respect for how hard it is,” Lucas says. “Not that we ever thought it was easy, but it's one of those things you don't really know until you do, and it's hard in ways that are different than what they appear to be from the outside.”
From the moment Lucas and Moore wrote the script, they knew the cast had to be phenomenal. Contrary to most comedies, “21 and Over” cast unfamiliar faces and young actors who could bring the script to life through witty dialogue and unquestionable chemistry.
“We saw hundreds and hundreds of young actors. We knew we wanted it to be fresh faces, and they would occasionally send us stars or teen stars or young stars and a lot of them come with baggage because they're on a TV show or they're on a cheesy movie or something like that," Moore says. "We liked the idea that when you go see the movie, you don't come in with any preconceived notion."
Admittedly no expert on directing actors, Moore says it truly was the three leading actors – Miles Teller, Skylar Astin and Justin Chon – who made this film as comical and tremendous as it is.
"We found three guys who are really good actors and who could bring that charm and that comedy and really sort of just leap off of the screen and I thought they killed it," Moore says.
Teller, Chon and Astin bring a little piece of themselves to their characters. Mastering on-screen chemistry with each other was far from a challenge. Aside from Teller desperately trying to avoid kissing Astin in the gut-busting sorority punishment scene, the cast was game for anything.
"Something that I've learned is that if you're going to do a comedy, the director needs to be funnier than you because other than that, it's like why would I allow you to direct me?" Teller says. "I'm going to trust your sense of humor in the edit. At the end of the day, you leave the film and then a year later it comes and a lot of people are messing with your performance. It's never what you did. So with this movie, it's incredibly true. Jon and Scott are the funniest people I've ever met."
Whether you attended college or aren’t even 21, this surprisingly heart-felt comedy has something relatable for everyone.
"We are proud of the emotional core of the movie, that there is something to it,” Lucas says. “I think these movies have more than just dick jokes, frankly. Hopefully you watch this movie and you're like, ‘Oh, maybe I'll call my old college buddy,’ or something that gets you to remember how much fun you have with people and how those people kind of fall away after awhile."