Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB. USA, 2014. Treehouse Pictures, Aversano Films, What If It Barks Films, FilmDistrict, Ninjas Runnin’ Wild Productions, Virgin Produced. Screenplay by Tom Gormican. Cinematography by Brandon Trost. Produced by Scott Aversano, Justin Nappi, Andrew O’Connor, Kevin Turen. Music by David Torn. Production Design by Ethan Tobman. Costume Design by Anna Bingemann. Film Editing by Shawn Paper, Greg Tillman.
Three dapper young men in the Big Apple enjoy a city full of beautiful women while determined to stay free and easy forever. Heartbreaker Zac Efron has sex-only relationships with girls until that “awkward moment” when they wonder if there is a future in their coupling, self-deprecating Miles Teller scores girls by having his female buddy Mackenzie Davis procure them in clubs, and happily married Michael B. Jordan is thrown back into the dating pool after he comes home to find his wife sitting next to a divorce lawyer with whom she is also having an affair. In order to show solidarity with their recently spurned buddy, Efron and Teller vow to remain single alongside him, which becomes a challenge when Efron finds himself irresistibly drawn to Non-Manic Pixie Dream Girl Imogen Poots (genuinely charming), while Teller and Davis suddenly realize they’ve been into each other all along. Conversations at diners bursting with goofy one-liners try to make for a male Sex And The City that, despite an appealing cast who all have terrific chemistry, never really flies thanks to unintelligent dialogue and contrived situations. Maybe a more talented filmmaker can have toilet humour and witty repartee in the same film, but director Matt Gormican seems unable to swing it, almost as if he wants to make a Woody Allen film about the twenty-something set but market forces mean he has no choice but to include self-tanner masturbating accidents and unexpected nudity at a Thanksgiving dinner. Having Efron accidentally show up at his new girlfriend’s house with a giant prosthetic penis attached to his jeans and getting it in her dad’s drink really is funny, but the plot’s central premise (vowing to remain single as if everyone is begging them to do otherwise) is not particularly clever, nor is it well justified (the world will be okay if you’re off the market, guys, don’t worry about us mere mortals).