I'm surprised this premise has not happened sooner, but alas, in the year 2014, we have a film that took one comedic sub-genre and added something fresh to it. We've seen this premise quite a bit, but not quite like this way. In the vein of the coming-of-age films as well as the raunchy "let's have sex before we graduate" type of movies, 'Date and Switch' tries to follow these tropes to a tee with one fresh idea, but it ultimately doesn't follow through or focus on what it set out to be.
This film was one of Lionsgate's micro-budget films, which was made for $2 million and gave a chance to starting filmmakers in the business. One of them was writer/producer Alan Yang who has gone on to write, produce, and direct the television series 'Parks and Recreation', which is why you will see some familiar faces here. Without being as filthy or fun as 'American Pie', or as meaningful as 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower' or 'The Way Way Back', 'Date and Switch' tries to be its own film, but fails on delivering the goods we were somewhat promised in the beginning.
We first meet two childhood friends Michael (Nicolas Braun) and Matty (Hunter Cope) who are about to graduate and have their senior prom. Like films we've seen before, these two best friends decide to make a pact to have sex before they graduate. Meanwhile, they are having problems with both of their girlfriends and decide to end their relationships so they can basically play the field. But the one thing that makes this movie different from the rest is the big reveal in the beginning of the movie.
Matty comes out as gay to Michael. But in this day and age, there are no hard feelings or hatred, but rather acceptance, hence Michael now tries to help his best friend Matty find the perfect guy to lose his virginity to, while trying to connect with a girl he really likes. But the big problem here is that the film does not focus on Matty hardly at all, but rather Michael, which seems weird to me, because you have this great setup, but then don't follow through. It just seemed there was so much potential to explore here that wasn't.
Even though Yang's script was somewhat decent, there wasn't any gut busting laughs or even hardy laughs throughout, which with this kind of comedy, I would have hoped for. And even the message gets a little cheesy here with the whole "it gets better" campaign. Some of the melodrama between Michael and some of his prospects seem a little far fetched and never really adds to the main point of the film.
Even though Braun and Cope deliver some good performances and with the supporting cast consisting of Dakota Johnson, Megan Mullally, Sarah Hyland Zach Cregger, and Nick Offerman , the film never really gets on its feet, which is a shame, because it had a lot of potential.