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The raunchy romantic comedy, once Canada’s chief export, had a brief renaissance in the early 2000s with the American Pie series. In 2014, debut writer/director Tom Gormican has decided to bring it back again, with a former Disney teen heart throb, an opponent of police brutality, a man whose last role was as an alcoholic, and 80% less raunch. Are We Officially Dating? (née That Awkward Moment) is a kinder, gentler raunch comedy, full of swearing and a surprisingly healthy regard for women.
Watch That Awkward Moment Online Free Three friends, Jason (Zac Efron, The Paperboy), Daniel (Miles Teller, The Spectacular Now) and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station) take a vow that they will all remain single so that they can continue to have fun together. Unfortunately for the three of them, this comes at the same time as Jason meets Ellie (Imogen Poots, The Look of Love), Daniel develops feelings for his wingwoman Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis) and Mikey hasn’t recovered from his split from his wife, Vera (Jessica Lucas, The Evil Dead).
Are We Officially Dating? has two of the most important elements of any romantic comedy: the meet cute and the grand romantic gesture. There are three story lines, but Efron’s is the most pronounced. He and Poots work well together, though she is not taxed as hard as she has been in other films. The true stand outs are the pairing of Teller and Davis; Teller is funny without baggage, and Davis is natural. Jordan continues to showcase his versatility and, most importantly, the three men come across as a natural friendship unit on screen.
For those of you expecting another PG-13 romantic comedy, take note that “That Awkward Moment” is rated R. This means it may or may not be a good first-date movie, depending upon your sweetheart’s tolerance for the f-bombs that explode numerous times in the dialogue. Believe it or not, this is a kind of update of William Shakespeare’s “Love’s Labour’s Lost,” in a roundabout sort of way, because it involves three men who have sworn off getting serious with women.
The trio consists of Jason (Zac Efron, a long way from the “High School Musical” franchise), Daniel (Miles Teller, “The Spectacular Now”) and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan, who turned in an outstanding performance as the lead in “Fruitvale Station”), who is hurting after his unfaithful wife asks him for a divorce. Jason and Daniel tell Mikey it’s time he started to play the field with one-night stands, just as Jason does.
Mikey continues to miss his wife (Jessica Lucas), but begins to hang out regularly with the other two men. Jason continues his love-’em-and-leave-’em lifestyle, while Daniel continues to hit the bars with his lady friend Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis), who helps him pick up girls. The three men make a pact that each must become as much of a cad as Jason naturally seems to be.
Then Jason, after a typical hook-up, makes a presumption about the girl he picked up and doesn’t call her. At work, he runs into Ellie (Imogen Poots, “Fright Night”) again and realizes that he is quite taken with this smart, funny woman. In fact, all three men find themselves in romantic situations that they don’t want to share with the other two. The question is, when will the truth be revealed?
Efron and Poots have an enjoyable chemistry, and so do the other couples involved here. We just don’t see as much of the other four as we do Jason and Ellie. It’s fun to see these couples as they make their way through Manhattan, which seems to be energized and enticing at every turn under the direction of writer/director Tom Gormican. If you’ve seen the trailer, you’ll pretty much know how this is going to end up. The only surprises will come from the raunchy dialogue and situations. It’s still clever enough to be above average, and grownup enough to raise some eyebrows at some shock-humor scenes.
In a first for a male-targeted romantic comedy, Are We Officially Dating? contains considerably more male nudity than it does female. For months in advance of the film’s release, it was promoted on the basis of an image of Efron naked and horizontal on a toilet. Any ill-judgement of any of the women in the cast reflects more poorly on the men passing the judgement than the women being judged. Gormican’s script suggests that, much of the time, men are much sillier than women and that they practice a special kind of double think which means that they can invite a girl to come and hang out, and then when she arrives they resent her for appearing unannounced. (This is the more charitable interpretation; the other is that there’s a glaring hole in the script for this scene).