Bartleby Gaines (Justin Long) isn’t accepted into any college, but to avoid angering his parents he makes up a college and forges an acceptance letter. Things begin to spiral when his parents want to see the college and meet the Dean. After fooling the parents with a fake website and an abandoned mental institution Bartleby thinks things are under control, but suddenly other students begin arriving. They have all been accepted because there is a button on the website that says acceptance is one click away. This doesn’t explain how they received acceptance letters without anyone sending them, but this is just one of many holes in the plot.
The plot devices used in Accepted may seem familiar because they have been used many times, and recently by a much more successful college comedy; Old School. A snooty Ivy League villain wants to take control and buy the location of the fake school, ultimately foiling our “heroes” of their scheme. The problem with our hero is that he is a bit of a tool. We are supposed to root for the leading guy to win the girl, and as is often the case “the girl” is already dating an extremely handsome and popular frat guy. The difference is that he seems to be a sincerely nice guy until our “hero” is a complete jerk to him in order to make the girl laugh, which she does. This also makes the leading girl seem shallow. It is almost as if we are just expected to be on the side of Bartleby merely because he is the main character, even though he is not very likable.