“That Awkward Moment” is the kind of movie that really thinks it understands what it’s like to be a guy in your mid-twenties. I mean, all guys are totally afraid of their friends finding out they’re in a relationship because, well, only girls think about relationships, right? Wrong.
Jason (Zac Efron), Daniel (Miles Teller), and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) are three best friends who decide that they’re done with relationships. Mikey just got cheated on by his wife, and Jason and Mikey have never been the girlfriend type, so the boys band together and promise to stay single. But when all three of them find themselves in a situation that’s really close to becoming a relationship, things get a bit complicated, or excuse me, “awkward.”
What really bothers me about this movie is that it takes the concept of being afraid of commitment and completely wastes it. What it focuses on is the frat-guy mentality of staying single because relationships are for girls. Well, that’s not exactly true. If you have a problem committing to someone or being in a relationship, it has nothing to do with being embarrassed about what your friends think, but in “That Awkward Moment”, that’s exactly how it works. There’s a minor character in the film that eventually gets killed off, and the sole reason for killing that character off is to test one of the guys’ resolve to stay out of a relationship. Not only does it feel forced and unnecessary, but again shows you how far writer/director Tom Gormican is willing to go to make a stupid point.
The film just tries too hard to be relevant. Ever since Judd Apatow comedies became a big thing, countless other comedies have tried to copy their improvised banter and snarky pop-culture references. “That Awkward Moment” tries that, but with the exception of Miles Teller, these guys just aren’t funny. The dialogue obviously has a lot to do with that, and it can be pretty cringe-worthy at times.
As far as performances go, they’re alright. Miles Teller is the true standout here, but he reminded me so much of a young Vince Vaughn that it got a bit distracting. He can also get pretty obnoxious, but that’s the script’s fault. Michael B. Jordan was surprisingly just okay, and that has a lot to do with his character being so meh. Zac Efron, who I thought could actually do well in comedy, is the least impressive of the three leads and delivers a pretty forgettable performance. I actually can’t wait to see how he does in “Neighbors” co-starring Seth Rogen, because I feel he can pull a Channing Tatum (who was hilarious in 21 Jump Street) if he works with the right people. I thought that Imogen Poots was very charming as Ellie (Jason’s love interest), and the same goes Mackenzie Davis as Chelsea (Daniel’s love interest).
“That Awkward Moment” takes the potentially relevant and poignant topic of being afraid of commitment and it turns into “relationships are for girls.” If that sounds like your cup of tea, then you’ll be plenty happy with it.
Numerical Score: 4/10
Originally Published in A Geek's Blog
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