The raunchy yet sweet bromantic comedy “Date and Switch” could be retitled “American Pie 2.0.” That’s because the desperate teen buds here form a pact to lose their virginity, but the switch is that one of the guys is gay.
How screenwriter Alan Yang and director Chris Nelson mine this twist for truth, laughs and a bit of parody makes for a largely enjoyable and credible coming-of-age romp, despite some forced broadness and uneven pacing.
Childhood pals Michael (Nicholas Braun) and Matty (Hunter Cope) are the pair of romantically challenged, musically inclined, earnestly doofy high school seniors aching to “do the deed” by prom night. But after pledging to achieve their sexual goal, Matty shocks Michael by revealing he’s “a gay dude.”
After a quick attitude adjustment, the decidedly straight Michael valiantly jumps in as Matty’s gay-world wingman. And in a series of engaging if sometimes over-the-top sequences, Michael tries to help Matty find “the one” while also attempting to maintain the long-held traditions of their friendship.
En route, Michael falls for Matty’s idyllic ex-girlfriend, Em (Dakota Johnson), while Matty begins a friendship-flirtation with a more experienced gay charmer, Greg (Zach Cregger). Both couplings, of course, are not without their complications.
Parents (played by Megan Mullally, Nick Offerman and Gary Cole), teachers, mean girls, an out-and-proud party boy (Adam DiMarco), a Jeff Spicoli knockoff (Brian Geraghty) and a pot-laced mega-brownie all amusingly factor in. But the film’s more heartfelt moments are what ultimately work best.
“Date and Switch”
MPAA rating: R for strong sexual content including crude dialogue, language, drug and alcohol use.
Running time: 1 hour, 31 minutes.
Playing: At Laemmle’s NoHo 7, North Hollywood. Also on VOD.