Are We Officially Dating? tries to be an antidote to relationship movies. Discarding the sweeping violins, lingering looks and melodrama, it stokes the romantic fires with a comedic sheen. It has much of the complexities relationships conjure with the various entanglements ripe for humour. Are We Officially Dating? only partially succeeds despite a solid cast.
Jason (Zac Efron) is afraid of lasting relationships. A dedicated commitment-phobe, his carefree existence occasionally irks his close friends Daniel (Miles Teller) and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan). Both with significant others, their lives are changed when their long-term partners suddenly dump them. Now a single trio, they make a pact to remain so. This is easier said than done with new ladies weakening their resolve ensuring their days of single-dom are potentially short ones.
Spinning another variation on the boys-behaving-badly concept Are We Officially Dating? never finds its own identity. It’s very derivative of other films and turns into the type of relationship film it attempts to mock. There are few moments offering genuine surprises with various romantic clichés swiftly surfacing. Tom Gormican directs with little flair, with the comedy and drama awkwardly mixed.
Are We Officially Dating? isn’t a total write-off as it has some appealing qualities. The performances are better than the generally sub-standard material which frequently slips into crudity for laughs. Efron and his co-stars display genuine chemistry ensuring you believe in their characters’ friendship. How their search for love changes their bond and their reaction to the new women in their lives provides interest.
Whilst largely forgettable, Are We Officially Dating? is reasonably amiable viewing. Had it differentiated itself from similar films it may have worked better, with the search for the definitive romantic-comedy still as elusive as the love for which its characters search.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 5