The appallingly titled Are We Officially Dating (known as That Awkward Moment in the US – still not ideal but a vast improvement) is an unabashed attempt to create a chick flick with masculine appeal. Not suprisingly, it pretty much fails on that front, instead creating another rom-com with enough toilet humour to make its female viewers feel slightly less goopy.
The film follows the questionable romantic lives of three 20-something “dudes” who, after agreeing to remain single and play the field, are each forced to reassess their relationship status through a serious of awkward encounters. The frat boy chemistry between lead trio Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller is enough to carry the film, despite Efron doing his best to weigh the other two down with his forced one-liners and try-hard college kid bravado.
A shining light comes in the form of Teller (The Spectacular Now) and his onscreen love interest Chelsea, played by newcomer Mackenzie Davis. As a pairing, they are loveable, laugh-out-loud funny, delightfully sarcastic and easy to root for from start to finish. The film also has to applauded for presenting a believable romantic lead in the form of English actress Imogen Poots who, with her ratty hair, repetitive wardrobe and emotional rawness, is much more indicative of your typical young New Yorker than Efron.
Frustratingly, writer/director Tom Gormican (in his feature debut) has decided to join the leagues of movie makers who seem to think it’s believable for young people in low-level creative jobs to not only live in the heart of New York City but to maintain large, trendy apartments. However, if you’re in the mood to overlook the cliches, shortcomings and vaguely sexist moments, this is a pretty hilarious representation of dating in the Girls era.
Like a drunken cheeseburger at 2am, it’s gross and lacking in substance, but darn enjoyable at the time.
The Guardian says: “Having long been an enthusiastic defender of Zac Efron’s underrated talents, it gives me no pleasure to announce that he has officially dropped a bollock with this witless, charmless, groin-gazing bromance about three smackable young men and their various interpersonal gropings.”
Rolling Stone says: “Kudos to Teller for generating whatever laughs manage to poke their heads above this sea of misogyny and missed opportunities.”
Rotten Tomatoes says: 22% – “Formulaic and unfunny, Are We Officially Dating? wastes a charming cast on a contrived comedy that falls short of the date movies it seems to be trying to subvert.”
Kids? No. Seeing Zac Efron in a sex scene is somewhat akin to finding out Santa isn’t real.
See it: With your girlfriends or a long-suffering male counterpart.