Accepted (2006)


Accepted is a 2006 American comedy film directed by Steve Pink and written by Adam Cooper, Bill Collage, and Mark Perez. The main plot centers around a group of would-be college freshmen who, after being rejected from all the colleges and universities to which they had applied, proceed to create their own "college".


Bartleby Gaines (Justin Long) is a persuasive high-school senior who, among other pranks, creates fake IDs. His gifts do not extend to grades, however, and he receives rejection letters from all of the universities and colleges to which he applies, including those with high acceptance rates. In an attempt to seek approval from his strict father (Mark Derwin), Bartleby creates a fake college, the South Harmon Institute of Technology (S.H.I.T.). He is aided by his best friend, Sherman Schrader III (Jonah Hill), who has been accepted into the prestigious Harmon College, and fellow rejects Rory (Maria Thayer), who was rejected from Yale University, the only school she applied to, Hands (Columbus Short), who lost his athletic scholarship after an injury, and Glen (Adam Herschman), who got a 0 on the SAT when he neglected to sign his name. To make the "college" seem legitimate, Bartleby convinces Sherman to create a fully functional Web site for the school. Concluding that an actual physical campus is required to continue the ruse, Bartleby leases an abandoned psychiatric hospital adjacent to Harmon College and renovates it to look like a college campus. When his father insists on meeting the dean, Bartleby hires Schrader's uncle, Ben Lewis (Lewis Black), to play that role. The seemingly innocent ploy quickly spins out of control when the Web site, which automatically accepts any applicant, enrolls hundreds of other rejected students. Bartleby realizes that these people have nowhere else to go, so he lets them believe that the school is real. After a visit to Harmon disenchants him with traditional college life, he has the students make up their own classes and be their own teachers: students write down what they want to learn on a giant whiteboard. Meanwhile, the dean of nearby Harmon College, Richard Van Horne (Anthony Heald), makes plans to construct the Van Horne Gateway, an adjacent park-like "verdant buffer zone to keep knowledge in; and ignorance out." He dispatches Hoyt Ambrose (Travis Van Winkle) to free up the nearby properties, but when Bartleby refuses to relinquish the lease for the South Harmon property, Hoyt sets to work trying to reveal the college as a fake. In a subplot, Bartleby also vies with Hoyt for the affections of Harmon College student, and Hoyt's girlfriend, Monica Moreland (Blake Lively). Hoyt exposes South Harmon as a fake institution through Sherman, who is attempting to join Hoyt's fraternity. After having Sherman beaten up, Hoyt forces him to hand over all the files he has created for South Harmon. He then contacts all the students' parents to expose the school as a fake. Soon after, the Institute is shut down, but Sherman's having taken the initiative to file for accreditation gives Bartleby a chance to make his school legitimate. At the State of Ohio educational accreditation hearing, Bartleby makes an impassioned speech about the failures of conventional education, convincing the board to grant his school a one-year probation to test his new system. The Institute reopens, with more students enrolling, including Sherman and Monica. Also, Bartleby finally earns the approval of his father, who is proud that his son actually owns a college. The film closes to cast and crew with the 'mind blowing' of Richard Van Horne's car by a student of the South Harmon Institute of Technology whose interest was to blow things up using his mind.