I expected very little from this movie. Let me just say that now. All it had to do was entertain me. Did it manage to do that? Let’s see.
The gist. We follow three college friends who are now living their own adult lives but trying to hold onto their old way of looking at relationships. Zac Efron and Miles Teller’s characters are all about playing the field, while Michael B. Jordan’s character is married. When Jordan finds out that his wife has been cheating on him, he tries to re-enter the game and re-learn how to date. Things get interesting when Efron meets a girl who might potentially be more than he expected her to be (played by Imogen Poots).
Our three leads all do what they do best. Efron is exactly what you’d expect. He does deliver a few really poignant moments but most of the movie is his usual shtick. Miles Teller is funny but he isn’t given much with the writing here. And Michael B. Jordan plays the more down-to-earth character (and probably most relateable character, for me anyways). They all do fine. The ladies of the movie, including Imogen Poots, all do fine too. That’s not the problem.
What doesn’t work?
This movie failed at a couple crucial things. Firstly, it struggles with identity. At its core, it’s a romantic comedy in the most predictable way. It’s the most common trope of “Guy meets girl, they get serious, something happens to rip them apart, guy realizes he needs her and makes a big dramatic proclamation of love.” Kiss. Credits. Boom. But it’s not marketed that way. It’s marketed as an R-rated comedy, like a new era of “Knocked Up.” But it’s not that. Aside from a few hilarious moments, it’s really a rom-com and I felt like I was cheated. And as a romantic comedy, it was nothing special.
There were a few moments that should have hit harder. There’s one moment especially that should have brought tears to your eyes but it’s hard to take these moments seriously when it’s in the aftermath of a Viagra joke. The movie is inconsistent in tone and makes it hard to know, as a viewer, how to react to the movie.
I also struggle because these young guys, who have usually played high school kids, are now attempting to be adults. When Michael B. Jordan said he was getting a divorce, I literally shook my head and thought No way. I had a hard time believing that, regardless how old they really are.
In general, I didn’t enjoy this movie.
This movie is like making dinner and mixing together everything you like, even if they don’t go together. Chocolate and pepperoni are awesome things, sure, but they don’t mix. The parts are greater than the sum here. It’s a predictable story, relatively unfunny, and struggles with knowing what kind of movie it is. The only saving grace is that our three main leads are fun to watch together, even if the story is painful to watch.