From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySteve Pink
Screenplay by
  • Adam Cooper
  • Bill Collage
  • Mark Perez
Story byMark Perez
Produced by
CinematographyMatthew F. Leonetti
Edited byScott Hill
Music byDavid Schommer
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • August 18, 2006 (2006-08-18)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$23 million[1]
Box office$38.6 million[1]

Accepted is a 2006 American comedy film directed by Steve Pink (in his directorial debut) and written by Adam Cooper, Bill Collage and Mark Perez. It follows a prank-loving recent high school graduate who is uncertain what he wants for his future and, after being rejected by every college to which he applies, formulates a plan to create a fake college alongside his friends to earn his parents' approval. When other rejects complete the one-click application process on the website created for the "college", the friends decide to try and run it like a real academic institution.


Bartleby Gaines is a persuasive senior from William McKinley High School in Wickliffe, Ohio, who, among other pranks, creates fake IDs. His gifts do not extend to grades, however, and he receives rejection letters from all the colleges to which he applies, including those with high acceptance rates.

To gain approval from his demanding father, Bartleby creates a fake college, the South Harmon Institute of Technology (SHIT). His best friend, Sherman Schrader III, who has been accepted into his father's prestigious alma mater, Harmon College, aids Bartleby and fellow reject Rory Thayer, who only applied to Yale University and was rejected due to legacy preferences; Darryl "Hands" Holloway, who lost his athletic scholarship after an injury; and Glen, an outcast who has a low GPA and failed his SAT due to not signing his name. To make the "college" seem legitimate, Bartleby convinces Sherman to give it a functional website.

When his father insists on meeting the dean, Bartleby hires Dr. Ben Lewis, Sherman's cynical uncle and a former philosophy professor at Harmon College, to play that role, and he leases an abandoned psychiatric hospital adjacent to Harmon College, which the group renovates to look like a college campus. Their plan backfires when the website, which automatically accepts any applicant, enrolls hundreds of other rejects. Out of sympathy, Bartleby lets them believe the school is real and that they will finally be accepted despite objections from his friends. After a visit to Harmon disenchants him with traditional college life, he decides to let the students create their own curriculum; this ranges from traditional topics of study like culinary arts and sculpting to more unusual courses such as meditation and psychokinesis, a subject one eccentric student wishes to study.

As the college is further developed, Bartleby creates a school newspaper (the SHIT Rag) and invents a mascot (the SHIT Sandwiches), while Lewis gives brutally honest lectures about life that draw large crowds; the students primarily spend their time partying. Meanwhile, the narcissistic and corrupt dean of Harmon College, Richard Van Horne, plans to tear down old and unused buildings on campus and construct the Van Horne Gateway, a park-like walkway similar to Yale and Harvard's, hoping to make Harmon look more prestigious and increase their number of rejected students. He dispatches Harmon's student body president Hoyt Ambrose to free up the nearby properties, but when Bartleby refuses to relinquish the lease for the South Harmon property, Hoyt tries to reveal the college as a fake. The dispute turns personal, as Bartleby has been vying for the affections of Hoyt's ex-girlfriend, Monica Moreland, since high school.

Hoyt exposes South Harmon as a fake institution through Sherman, who is attempting to join Hoyt's fraternity as a legacy but is constantly humiliated and abused by them. After debasing Sherman once more, the fraternity coerces him to hand over all the files he has created for South Harmon.

Hoyt contacts all the students' parents and, with Van Horne, reveals the school is a sham. Soon after, the school is forced to close, and Bartleby is at risk of prison time for fraud. However, Sherman, who has already discovered much of Harmon College's corruption, files for accreditation for South Harmon, giving Bartleby a chance to make his college legitimate. At the subsequent State of Ohio educational accreditation hearing, Bartleby makes an impassioned speech about the failures of conventional education and the importance seeking knowledge and personal growth through following one's own passions, convincing the board to grant his school a one-year probationary accreditation to test his new system and make the school adequate, thus foiling Van Horne's schemes.

After more renovations, the college reopens with more students enrolling, including Sherman and Monica, and Bartleby's friends joining the faculty. Bartleby finally earns the approval of his father, who is proud his son now owns a college. Van Horne walks to his car in the parking lot, only to watch it suddenly explode. Bartleby watches in astonishment as the eccentric student from earlier makes his interest in psychokinetic explosions a reality.


  • Justin Long as Bartleby "B" Gaines, a high school graduate who is rejected by various colleges and creates a college for fellow rejects
  • Jonah Hill as Sherman Schrader III, Bartleby's friend who gets into Harmon and a legacy for the BKE Fraternity
  • Adam Herschman as Glen, an outcast who joins Bartleby's college and is obsessed with cooking unusual yet delicious foods
  • Columbus Short as Darryl "Hands" Holloway, a football star with a talent for sculpting who lost his sports scholarship after an injury and joins Bartleby's college
  • Maria Thayer as Rory Thayer, an honor student with a proclivity for meditation tired of living a rigidly structured life, who failed to get into Yale and joins Bartleby's college
  • Lewis Black as Dr. Ben Lewis, a jaded former Harmon professor and Sherman's uncle, whom Bartleby hires to be the Dean of his college
  • Blake Lively as Monica Moreland, Bartleby's high school crush who is dating Hoyt
  • Mark Derwin as Jack Gaines, Bartleby's father
  • Ann Cusack as Diane Gaines, Bartleby's mother
  • Hannah Marks as Lizzie Gaines, Bartleby's little sister
  • Robin Lord Taylor as Abernathy Darwin Dunlap, an anxious, ADD-stricken outcast who eagerly applies to Bartleby's college
  • Diora Baird as Kiki
  • Joe Hursley as Maurice, an aspiring rock musician
    • Hursley's real-life band, The Ringers, portray Maurice's bandmates
  • Jeremy Howard as Freaky Student, an eccentric student who wants to learn how to cause psychokinetic explosions
  • Anthony Heald as Richard Van Horne, the corrupt dean of Harmon
  • Travis Van Winkle as Hoyt Ambrose, head of the BKE Fraternity at Harmon and Monica's boyfriend
  • Kaitlin Doubleday as Gwynn
  • Ross Patterson as Mike McNaughton
  • Artie Baxter as Mike Chambers
  • Kellan Lutz as Dwayne
  • Brendan Miller as Wayne
  • Ray Santiago as Princeton boy
  • Greg Sestero as a frat boy (uncredited)
  • Ned Schmidtke as Dr. J. Alexander
  • Jim O'Heir as Sherman Schrader II, Sherman's father
  • Darcy Shean as Mrs. Schrader, Sherman's mother and Dr. Lewis's sister


Critical response[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes reports the film holds an approval rating of 38% based on 117 reviews, with an average rating of 5.1/10. The critical consensus reads, "Like its characters who aren't able to meet their potential, Accepted's inconsistent and ridiculous plot gets annoying, despite a few laughs."[2] Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 47 out of 100, based on 27 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[3] Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade of "A−" on A+ to F scale.[4]

Michael Buening from Allmovie gave it 3 out of 5 stars.[5]

Box office[edit]

The film made $10,023,835 in its opening weekend and opened at No. 5 at the U.S. box office, behind Snakes on a Plane, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby's third weekend, World Trade Center's second, and Step Up's second.[6]

By the end of its run, on October 19, 2006, Accepted had grossed $36,323,505 domestically and $2,181,504 internationally, with a worldwide total of $38,505,009.[1]

Home media[edit]

The film was released on DVD on November 14, 2006, in both widescreen and fullscreen formats. Supplemental materials included deleted scenes and a gag reel. The film was also released on the now-discontinued HD DVD format.[7] A Blu-ray version was released on January 19, 2021.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Accepted (2006)". Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ "Accepted (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved January 24, 2021.
  3. ^ "Accepted Reviews". Metacritic.
  4. ^ "ACCEPTED (2006) A-". CinemaScore. Archived from the original on 2018-12-20.
  5. ^ "Allmovie's review of Accepted".
  6. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for August 18-20, 2006". Box Office Mojo.
  7. ^ Tom Woodward. "News: Accepted (US - DVD R1 - HD) - DVDActive". Archived from the original on September 14, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2022.

External links[edit]