If the producers of Accepted had angled for an R rating rather than a toothless yet more profitable PG-13, there's some remote possibility that the film could have been marginally more entertaining, or at least could have failed in a less embarrassing way. The movie hints at raunchiness, but is constantly held back, and there is simply nothing else to fill the void aside from incredibly inept attempts at humor, perfunctory "slobs vs. snobs" posturing, barely competent editing, and a cast that is almost completely devoid of charisma. The characters are uniformly witless in a way that seems frighteningly true to life — if the producers had actually hired a bunch of ordinary kids, the resulting film would have been just as unimaginative and deeply unfunny. Accepted has all the flaws that come from rampant puerility, but absolutely none of its pleasures.
Obnoxious Apple pitchman Justin Long plays the movie's lead in spite of being ten years older than the character, and essentially comes off as the poor man's Zach Braff. Surely there are fewer more damning descriptions in Hollywood, but nevertheless, the filmmakers hammer this point by including an unironic homage to Braff's dreadful Garden State somewhere around the middle of the film. In fairness, Long was working with very poor material, but channeling the comedic timing of Braff and the similarly annoying Jimmy Fallon does him few favors, and when he's emo-ing it up in his compulsory romantic subplot, he somehow manages to be more punchable than Braff and Fallon combined.
Lewis Black, a comedian who can be quite funny when he's performing his own material or appearing on The Daily Show, does his irate loose cannon shtick in his supporting role, but does not merit a single laugh in Accepted. Of course, no one else was funny either, but at least he had some expectations to live up to — virtually everyone else in the cast is a total unknown. Maria Thayer, best known to audiences as being Jerri Blank's perky red-headed pal Tammi Littlenut on Strangers With Candy, has a small supporting role, but I can't imagine anyone expects too much of her when her performance on that show mainly required her to be cute and innocent and oblivious to Jerri's sexual harassment. Well, at least she's cute in this — that alone made her far less difficult to watch than most everyone else in this dire mess of a comedy.