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Okay, so here's a movie pitch for you: Take a group of mismatched friends, send them out for an evening of drunken revelry and then watch the hilarity ensue when they try to figure out just what the heck they did. Guaranteed hit, right?
But we're not describing the plot of "The Hangover" — we're actually describing the plot of the upcoming teen comedy "21 and Over," which is basically exactly like "The Hangover" except, you know, with college students in it.
"21 and Over" is hardly the first film to blantly remake another movie, book or play for a teenage crowd; it's actually a longstanding tradition in Hollywood. So in honor of "21 and Over's" brazen replication, here's a closer look at it and six other films like it.
1. "Easy A:" We love 2010's "Easy A," mostly because it's the film that turned Emma Stone into the superstar she was always meant to be. or, alternately, Stone turned "Easy A" into a good movie, whiever way you want to look at it. Anyway, the point is, "Easy 's" story about an high school girl osctracized for supposedly being loose is just a teenage variation on the classic Nathaniel Hawthorne novel "The Scarlet Letter." And "The Scarlet Letter" has been made into rather adult films any number of times in the past, most notably in 1995, when Demi Moore and Gary Oldman headlined. We have to hand it to Hollywood — a creepy story about judmental puritans isn't exactly the most obvious teen comedy ever.
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2. "Agent Cody Banks:" Hey you guys, remember Frankie Muniz? Back in 2003, he was totally a thing, in part due to "Agent Cody Banks." And in case the title didn't tip you off, here's the entire plot of the film: It's James Bond, only with a kid. The end. Unfortunately, "Agent Cody Banks" didn't do quite well enough at the box office to warrant 22 sequels, but that's okay; it's hard to do a movie about a kid secret agent is the kid ends up growing a mustache during filming.
3. "10 Things I hate About You:" The movie that introduced most of the world to the talents of Heath Ledger is, as you might expect, a classic. but the 1999 romcom is also a teenified version of the famous William Shakespeare play "The Taming of the Shrew." We're guessing Julia Stiles is probably perfectly happy with the change it title, since nobody likes to be called a shrew. It's not much a surprise that Shakespeare's works do so well when remade as teen movies, though; after all, Shakespeare himself swiped the plot of the ultimate teen romance, "Romeo and Juliet," from an older play. He'd be right at home in Hollywood.
4. "Brick:" Back in 2005, writer/director Rian Johnson put together one of the most unlikely teen revamps in film history with "brick," a little indie film that answered the question: What would happen if you set a hard boiled 40's detective noir thriller in a high school? It totally shouldn't have worked, but thanks to Johnson and star Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the mix of Dashiell Hammet and John Hughes became one of the coolest cult classics of the decade — and set the stage for their 2012 collaboration, "Looper."
5. "She's All That:" Here's the relatively quicky premise behind the 1999 Freddie Prinze Jr. flick "She's All That:" Freddie plays a high shcool jock who makes a bet that he can take one of the leats popular girls in school and turn her into a contender for prom queen. And then some romance happens. We won't get into all the things that are wrong with this premise, because most of that blame has to go to legendary author George bernard Shaw and his play "Pygmalion," which in 1963 was turned into one of the most beloved musicals of all time, "My Fair Lady." Our suggestion: Just watch the original movie, teens or no teens.
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6. "The Goonies:" Ask anybody who grew up in the '80s and they'll tell you: "The Goonies" is one of the greatest films of all time. And while there's plenty of credit to go around, much of the success of "The Goonies" has to be attributed to producer and co-writer Steven Spielberg. Spielberg, you see, had the brilliant idea to take all the stuff that made "Raiders of the Lost Ark" such a massive success and put it all into a film for and about kids. The results pretty much speak for themselves.
7. "Whatever It Takes:" After the success of "She's All That" and "10 Things I Hate About You" in 1999, "Whatever It Takes" seemed like a shoo-in at the box office when it came out a year later. Like those two films, it took a classic story with a proven cinematic track record — in this case, Edmond Rostand's play "Cyrano de Bergerac," which has been made into hit films like Steve Martin's "Roxanne" — and re-imagined it for teens. Unfortunately, it tanked, earning les than $9 million. Maybe if they tried remaking it for toddlers next time?
8. "21 and Over:" And, of course, we can't end our examination without a closer look at the film that inspired it all. How much does "21 and over" snag the premise of "The Hangover?" Well ... the film is actually written by the guys who wrote "The Hangover" and "The Hangover Part II," John Lucas and Scott Moore. Hey, if you're going to steal, steal from yourself, right?