Date and Switch Blu-Ray Review
Ah yes, the good ol’ “Let’s lose our virginities before *insert pubescent milestone*” movie trope, one of the more fun, yet unrealistic clichés popularized by AMERICAN PIE. DATE AND SWITCH doesn’t necessarily modernize it, more than it changes the formula. Instead of a gaggle of boys, we have two best friends. Our pair of best friends stay away from dipping their coming of age tale into the pools of ridiculous adolescent promiscuity and instead DATE AND SWITCH puts their friendship to the test when one of the boys decides to come out as gay.
With prom on the horizon, the best friends for life, Matty (Cope) and Michael (Braun), promise each other that they will lose their innocence before the big dance. You know it’s a serious conquest amongst the two when they make a giant pot brownie cake so they can celebrate that blissful moment. I’ve heard a lot of “coming out” stories and without a doubt, there’s definitely no set way to do it. So while Matty’s method seems unconventional, it really isn’t. He recommends that he and Michael go for a drive, nowhere in particular. This method proves to be successful or it was destined to succeed anyway since Michael is gung ho about the idea and is already planning on ways setting up Matty to lose his virginity.
My biggest complaint and my biggest compliment for this movie butt heads. I don’t believe Cope was able to sell the idea that he was a teenager struggling with his homosexual identity, but at the same time I applaud the writer for not wedging in the stereotypical gay characters. The writer, Alan Yang, throws in Greg (Zach Cregger) as the average hetero male archetype that is gay himself and eventually becomes Matty’s love interest. The only time we ever see any kind of stereotype is when Michael is taking Matty to one of the gay clubs or bars in town.
Cope’s ability to be Matty is hampered by DATE AND SWITCH devoting half of it’s time to subplots that it never feels interested in. There’s plenty of great characters like Nick Offerman, Gary Cole and Aziz Ansari, but the introduction of Em (Johnson), who plays Matty’s old flame and Michael’s new interest, further complicates Matty’s quest to slowly work his way out of the closet. Cope seems more comfortable in his scenes with Johnson than he does with Cregger. Em is basically used to set up the climax of the movie which seems odds because you would assume the climax of the movie wouldn’t involve Em, but would actually involve Matty and Greg’s relationship adding to Matty and Michael’s tumultuous friendship.
While DATE AND SWITCH is far from perfect, it is a slightly touching story about friends overcoming the social and cultural adversities laid out before them while mixing in a dash of pubescent insecurities. I feel like in someone else’s creative hands, this movie could have easily been another AMERICAN PIE, since a lot of the jokes didn’t quite land. It feels too adult to be a teen comedy, but it feels too silly to ever be taken seriously. Regardless, Yang is someone to watch out for.
DATE AND SWITCH BLU RAY REVIEW
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 2:35:1) Presentation is clear enough to allow us to enjoy every set design.
Audio: (English 5.1 DTS-HDMA) Mixed right. An even balance created for this movie with none of the music becoming overbearing.
The Making of Date and Switch (11:01): The two main actors discuss multiple behind the scenes moments. While they discuss a couple of themes in the movie, they focus on a couple of specific scenes when it comes to filming. Would have loved to hear more from the writer since he wrote this movie off of his own experiences.
Prom: A Rite of Passage (7:32): This focuses on the final moments of the movie that take place at the prom. While I won’t divulge too much into what they discuss sine it’s a bit of a spoiler, I will say that you get a little more from the writer and why he wanted the finale to take place at the big dance.
Deleted Scenes (8:28): You can play these all at the same time or individually. I’m a bit surprised there’s this much in terms of deleted scenes since DATE AND SWITCH never felt long and I wouldn’t have minded some of these scenes. One specifically between Matty and his dad and another with Matty’s friend and what’s her face. This includes an alternate ending, but only in terms of what happens to the marijuana laced brownies.
Audio Commentary with Director Chris Nelson and Writer Alan Yang: Yang and Nelson talk like they shot most of this just the other day. They seemed to have their own kind of inside jokes. Despite that, there are plenty of pauses and awkward silences. Yang was obviously the most interesting to listen to.