Synopsis: Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan star in the R-rated comedy, That Awkward Moment, about three best friends who find themselves where we’ve all been – at that confusing “moment” in every dating relationship when you have to decide “So…where is this going?”
Release Date: January 31, 2014 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Romantic Comedy,
In the opening narration to That Awkward Moment, Zac Efron’s character Jason tells audiences all they need to know about the film they’re about to watch. He curses, mutters some funny quip about the nature of relationships, and then moves backwards. His narration is awkward, predictable, and unnecessarily crude – all applicable descriptors for That Awkward Moment as a whole.
In the film, Jason and his two friends Daniel (Miles Teller) and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) relish their time in their late 20s, trying to add as many girls as they can to their “roster.” For Mikey, who is fresh out of a relationship, the idea of getting back into dating seems daunting, but Daniel and Jason assure him that they will be brothers in single-hood, choosing to shun any potential relationships that come their way. Of course, those plans don’t quite work out for any of the three men, as each must deal with girls who pose a threat to their deal. And, conversely, will said deal impact the relationships these three men find themselves involved in?
For a film that features three of the brightest young talents out there, That Awkward Moment feels like a ton of wasted potential. It all starts with the overly predictable, and borderline silly, premise, and doesn’t evolve much from there. Where the film tries to set itself apart is in its raunchy, R-rated comedy, but any crude jokes feel out of place compared to the extremely cheesy dialogue and unbelievably rote story beats. In a lot of ways That Awkward Moment feels like a calculated play at both sexes, but in doing so it runs the risk of losing each. Efron, Teller, and Jordan will certainly charm the female viewers, but a distinctly male approach to the film’s humor might be off-putting. On the flip side, male viewers won’t have a hard time connecting with the three male protagonists, but the eye roll inducing moments of romance will be hard for them to tolerate.
Still, the three leads make the best of what they are given. Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller are particularly charismatic and show a great knack for comedic timing; it’s just a shame that both actors’ storylines take a back seat to the main love story between Efron’s Jason and Imogen Poots’ Ellie. Speaking of Efron, he’s fine as Jason, but he more or less plays the same character we’ve seen him play before.
What That Awkward Moment seeks to offer and what it inevitably delivers unfortunately never coalesce into the same idea. When it’s funny, it takes on a tone that doesn’t gel with the super saccharine romance. And when it’s romantic…well…it’s pretty cheesy. Fans of the film’s main actors might find some entertainment, doubly so if romantic comedies are their genre of choice. And even though the raunchy tone feels supremely out of place, the comedy still resonates enough to get some truly memorable laughs. Still, for a film that’s all about indecision when faced with a choice, That Awkward Moment clearly couldn’t make up its mind about what film it wants to be.
As a raunchy comedy, That Awkward Moment generates some big and unexpected laughs. The film certainly goes for it, and thankfully the cast is right along for the ride. Granted, some of the jokes come across as independent musings on the male psyche, but those are minor gripes as far as the humor is concerned.
The real downfall of That Awkward Moment is its unpredictable ebb and flow between the raunchy and the romantic. There’s no balance here – the film simply wafts between sensibilities without rhyme or reason. In one scene, Zac Efron is wearing an over-sized dildo in front of a character, and in another, news arrives that said character is dead. Strange.
All told it is conceivable that someone would walk into That Awkward Moment and come out satisfied with the comedy, but they will have done so begrudgingly; trying to find positives in what is a fairly run-of-the-mill film with some slightly notable elements.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Tom Gormican
- Screenwriter(s): Tom Gormican
- Cast: Zach Efron (Jason)Miles Teller (Daniel)Michael B. Jordan (Mikey) Imogen Poots (Ellie)Mackenzie Davis (Chelsea)
- Editor(s): Shawn Paper
- Cinematographer: Brandon Trost
- Production Designer(s):
- Costume Designer:
- Casting Director(s):
- Music Score: David Torn
- Music Performed By:
- Country Of Origin: USA