Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Date and Switch: Movie Review


A "bro" and "dude" take on a familiar story making it sweet and funny with a simple originality.
“Date and Switch” stars Nicholas Braun and Hunter Cope as best friends Michael and Matty who have made a pact that they’re going to lose their virginity before their high school prom. What sounds like the gazillionth film in a long line of “American Pie” rip-offs luckily has a refreshing twist when Matty comes out and tells his best friend that he’s gay. 2014

Directed by: Chris Nelson

Screenplay by: Alan Yang

Starring: Nicholas Braun and Hunter Cope

The movie starts with a fair amount of “MTV generation” editing, making sure that you’re aware that it’s meant for teenagers. There is also a copious use of the words “bro” and “dude” in every sentence, but it’s still funny. The characters are reminiscent of the main characters in “The First Time”. There’s a natural honesty that the actors give them which makes them sweet and funny and allows you to get past the seriously excessive use of “bro” and “dude”.

Michael is supportive of Matty since after all they have been friends since an ill-advised, swear word-ridden incident in grade 2. But Michael also has no idea what being supportive means so he has turned a celebration brownie into a phallically-designed brownie, he takes him to a skeevy gay bar looking like a biker club, and then takes him to an ecstasy dream sequence type gay bar. There are a handful of gay clichés, but it's also a traditional story where friends fall in and out love and in and out of friendship, and the conventions of such a film allow for more expected humour.

Problems arise when Michael falls for Matty’s ex-girlfriend. I’m pretty sure there’s a rule against that in the bro code. And thus, Michael and Matty’s friendship is in jeopardy. At which point the film switches to the dramatic, and audiences should be aware that it’s not a laugh riot all the way through. Luckily, the natural honesty which Braun and Cope give Michael and Matty can get you through the predictable down times. But not to worry, when we finally get to their high school prom, the film has returned to its funny but familiar originality.

For its target audience, “Date and Switch” should be a very good movie. It could probably even be the indie teen break-out hit of the year like last year’s “The First Time”. While the “bro” and “dude” dialogue can sound pretty lame to those outside of the target audience, but if teenagers actually talk like that, then what you have here is a funny, sweet, and original take on a familiar story.
Best Lesser-known of 2014

Similar Titles:

The First Time (2012) - Proves that teen romances can be sweet and charming.

That Awkward Moment (2014) - Funny moments and moments that just fall flat.