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'Accepted'

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Accepted
Directed by Steve Pink
Universal, opens August 18
In director Steve Pink's amiable but undernourished campus comedy, industrious high school underachiever Bartleby Gaines (Justin Long) gets rejected from every college under the sun. So he starts his own, the South Harmon Institute of Technology, complete with facilities (an abandoned mental hospital), faculty, and fully functional website where admission is, quite literally, a click away. Soon, S.H.I.T. becomes a mecca for all the huddled masses turned away by the legitimate university system. The joke, of course, is that the "fake" college is no worse—and in some ways better—than the high-ticket institute of higher learning down the road with its stuck-up faculty and humiliating frat-hazing rituals. But Accepted is an inspired premise in search of a movie: What starts out as a scabrous takedown of academic bureaucracy ends up yet another modestly rousing underdog story about the little slacker that could. The cheat sheet in Pink's loose-leaf binder is Long, who's great fun to watch as he moves through the film with the shit-eating confidence of the kid voted most likely to succeed . . . at grand larceny.
 
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