Date and SwitchOverview -
Two guys who make a pact to lose their virginity before prom find their friendship tested when one of them comes out of the closet.
Storyline: Our Reviewer's Take
I'm surprised this premise has not played with in this manner sooner, but at least in the year 2014 we got 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. 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 barely focuses on Matty at all, but rather Michael, which seems weird to me, because you have this great setup, but 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 weren'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.
'Date and Switch' comes with a good 1080p HD transfer presented in 2.35:1 aspect ratio. This little romantic comedy looks decent and almost feels like you're watching a television show on primetime. The picture as a whole looks good, but I don't think it will truly impress or wow anyone. The detail is quite vivid and sharp most of the way through, but nothing really pops, with the exception of some closeups. These closeups show great textures, individual hairs, wrinkles, makeup, and stitching well.
In wider shots, things look a tiny bit softer. Colors are well saturated and look realistic, but I wouldn't say anything really pops off screen vibrantly. Skin tones are natural and black levels are always deep and inky. There were no issues with any banding, aliasing , or artifacting of any kind, but there was a tiny bit of video noise here and there, but it's nothing really to write home about, which leaves this video presentation with solid marks.
This release comes with a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 audio mix and sounds good for the romantic comedy that it is. I wouldn't expect a tons of sound from the surrounds or big explosions anywhere, but for a dialogue heavy comedy, it gets the job done. Sound effects are mostly full and robust, but can be a little muddled at times. The big scenes at the prom or a party seem to have the fullest sound in the film and is fairly dynamic.
Ambient noises also come through nicely, but again, nothing will really pop out. Dialogue is always crystal clear and easy to follow, and free of any pops, cracks, or hissing. This is more of a front heavy track, so don't expect a ton of sound from the rears. The dynamic range is fairly wide and the LFE is very good, leaving this romantic comedy track with solid marks.
Audio Commentary with Director Chris Nelson and Writer Alan Yang - This is an enjoyable commentary for the most part, and if you enjoyed the film, you'll want to listen to it. Yang discusses his characters and tells us which scenes happened in to him in real life where Nelson focuses more on the technical aspects of things.
The Making of 'Date and Switch' (HD, 11 Mins.) - Here is a standard promo reel for the movie with interviews with the cast and crew with footage from the movie spliced between segments.
Prom: A Rite of Passage (HD, 8 Mins.) - This is another promo reel of the film with interviews with the cast and crew, but this one is centered on the prom scene alone.
Deleted Scenes (HD,9 Mins.) - Here are a few scenes that were left on the cutting room floor. None of them were worth adding into the film.
'Date and Switch' has a good premise to a sub-genre we have seen plenty of times before, but it isn't executed very well. Instead of tons of laughs or genuine emotions, we get some bland moments and dull characters. The video and audio are decent and the extras are for the most part enjoyable, if not standard. If you are looking for a very light hearted young romantic comedy, you might want to rent this one first before purchasing.
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