I had an opportunity to watch 21&OVER on Wednesday night before it premieres theatrically today, and boy was it something! It was a crossover between THE HANGOVER and SUPERBAD--with crazy party scenes, obnoxious moments, and just some plain cringe-worthy scenes. It will surely make you reminisce those good ol' college days.
Overall, I was thrilled to see Justin Chon on the big screen. I discovered him through Youtube, and I secretly dubbed him as the "screaming Youtube guy." In 21&OVER, he plays Jeff Chang, the stereotypical obedient Asian son. At first, I was like oh no, not another blockbuster with this typecasted Asian male character. But as the plot moves along, Justin broke out of the norm and became a wild party animal that falls unconscious for most of the film. Hilarity ensues, and after all is said and done, he stands up for what he most believes in and confronts his father. (This reminded me of Mike Chang's featured episode on GLEE). He stood up for himself and confessed his passion in music. That pasion for the arts is something more and more Asian Americans can relate to nowadays.
Maybe two years ago, if I was still writing my thesis about Asian Americans in the arts movement and this film came out, I don't know how I'll make of it... because on one hand, yes it is stereotypical and shit, but the twist at the end was the saving grace--although I must say, it was a bit abrupt. I wish we got to hear or see more of Justin's backstory: his stress in school, how he interacted with Francois Chau who plays his father, and what drove him to that breaking point of letting go and wanting nothing more but his passion for music.
This movie is certainly something I can relate to, and I'm sure it will take you on an unforgettable journey. It opens everywhere today, so go watch it and help Justin Chon buy that speedboat!