ARE WE OFFICIALLY DATING?
US, 2014, minutes, Colour.
Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Imogen Poots.
Directed by Tom Gormican.
Wild oats seem to be getting wilder – but young people are still sowing them, and profligately.
This is a film about 20-somethings for 20-somethings. As Danny Glover said (often) in the Lethal Weapon films, ‘I’m too old for this…’.
If The Wolf of Wall Street can be described as a ‘cautionary tale’, then this, in its minor way, is the same kind of tale for its (probably) eager audience.
Three friends have a code (that’s dignifying it) where they have a list of women they liaise with – but no real relationships or commitment. This allows for some sex moments with touches of sleaze.
But, you expect that, this being an American film, this will not last and the three men will learn that traditional love, relationships and commitment are what is truly worthwhile.
The three are played by Zac Efron as the leader, Miles Teller as the obvious sleaze and Michael B. Jordan who, at the end, seems left high and dry after the failure of his marriage.
So, this is mostly looking at the three friends, Zac Efron living up to the code until he realises that he has fallen in love, Miles Teller secretly in a relationship, Michael B. Jordan secretly trying to revive his marriage.
And, that’s it, until the next similar film turns up – and it will soon.
1. A film for twentysomethings? Their hedonistic way of life? The 21st century and the ways of sowing wild oats? A cautionary tale for the intended audience? The moral ending?
2. The original title, That Awkward Moment? Which moment? The alternate title, Jason and his reaction to the breakup and asking this question?
3. The world of the twentysomethings, the apartment and sharing, visits to the clubs, the workplace and cover design? Mikey and his work as a doctor at the hospital? The mix of ordinary living and the goals of pleasure-seeking? The musical score?
4. The touches of the outrageous, nudity, sex, the phallus, language? Its effect? Jerky?
5. The pact, the list, the contract and pledge? No relationships?
6. Jason is leader, his age, character, the initial relationship and the girl breaking up and his not knowing? The sexual encounters with Alana? With Daniel and confiding in him? Sharing with Mikey? The long-term friendship? Meeting early, the man hitting on her at the bar, Jason’s speech on the brush off? The night with her? The previous discussion about prostitutes and the article with the signs? Jason seeing them in the room, leaving suddenly? Going to the job, with Daniel, the cover with issues and the speech about the attraction to women? Ellie, her rival, the speech? Jason and his apologies?
7. Jason, his relationship with her with Kelly, sharing with her, in love, but not seeing it or admitting it? Going to the birthday party, the singlet, the large phallus, in her mother’s drink…? The parents and their reaction? The death of Ellie’s father, his not going to the funeral? The effect on her? Meeting with her, the apology, saying that friends responded in times of need, his shame? Change?
8. Daniel, loud, with women, meeting Chelsea, her willingness to be in a relationship, their meetings, sexual encounters, a true relationship, going to the party, her parents, the sexual encounter in the other room, Daniel’s arrival? His being exposed? Admitting his relationship with Chelsea?
9. Mikey, his wife, discovering the affair, the lawyer? His work as a doctor? The plan to the divorce? Vera coming to see him, re-connecting? His love for her? The sudden failure – credible? And his being left high and dry at the end?
10. The discussion about the list, emotional and sexual immaturity?
11. Jason sitting on the bench, the encounter with Ellie, going to the reading, Jason’s long speech, quoting Ellie and her talking to him? Ellie joining him on the bench?
12. One of those American cautionary tales, wild oats, a touch of maturing, commitment and fidelity?