As a female about to watch a bachelor-style rom-com, I went into this movie wondering two things:
1. Is it going to be a slightly awkward cringe-worthy flick?
2. What insights into the male world of dating am I going to gain?
Are We Officially Dating (titled That Awkward Moment in the States) is a bird's eye-view into the colourful, sometimes crude and very bromantic lives of Jason (Zac Efron), best friend Daniel (Miles Teller) and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan). With the movie following its American moniker to a certain degree, reviews haven't been overly favourable of this particular flick.
Best friends Jason and Daniel are book cover designers in a publishing house, while friend Mikey works as a doctor. The movie congregates between the locations of the publishing house and Jason's apartment, often leaving me wondering how young people afford to live on their own in NY (what is rent there these days?).
We're cast a serious blow, when Mikey delivers the news that his wife Vera (Jessica Lewis) wants a divorce. Awkward. As with most solutions to life's problems, the boys head to their local bar to regale Mikey into drunken revelry and get him back into the game.
The night does not pan out that way, with Mikey feeling bereft and the best friends cajoling themselves with fast-flying one liners. The movie is loaded with these; the witty and at times slightly-lame in jokes that we only share freely with our inner circle. Girls may bristle a bit at the explanation of a 'roster' by Jason where the best friends have a list of girls they are sleeping with but not dating.
Director Tom Gorican has really opened up the curtains to let us peek directly into the intricacies of a single male's dating brain. And it's not an overly pretty sight. His film debut, does what a bromantic comedy would do delivers rational on a couch, in a bachelor pad with a beer in hand.
To help Mikey recover from his 'divorce' news, the boys wager a pact. That no-one gets a girlfriend. They vow to stay single, hang out, date and work the roster. As with most plans concocted on the fly, there are always a few obstacles along the way. Namely in the form of girls in the case of the three amigos.
To be honest, I didn't mind this movie. The placement of Ellie (Imogen Poots) into Jason's life, firstly at the bar and then again at his work gives the movie a bit of body and flavour. It's refreshing to see a quirky and unconventional female catching the eye of a rather tried-and-tested character like Jason. It provides a little bit more depth and emotion, while still having a very humorous overtone.
There's a little bit of predictability with Daniel and 'wingman' Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis), but overall I loved the repartee between the two. You may start thinking about how you can work in their chat-up sequence if you are single. It's quite a smooth operation! And this is how the movie rolls out. You're taken on a three-part journey to discover which of these boys breaks the bet first, all the while being privy to each of the friends dalliances.
Are We Officially Dating is fun. It's witty, charming and very atypical of young guys dating behaviour. It's not going to be a ground-breaking movie, nor require you to digest complex relationship problems. It is touching in parts and has some irreverent moments. But mostly, it's boys being boys throwing around the sexual innuendos, fumbling through scenarios and constantly being fascinated by their toilet habits.
If you're a blooper fan, stay and watch the credits. There are some guaranteed good laughs in there! I noticed pretty much all the audience hung around to watch the credits too. I guess secretly we all like a bit of cheesy humour.