THAT AWKWARD MOMENT
Director: Tom Gormican
Starring: Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis, Jessica Lucas
Thank God I enjoy these three actors because these types of “bromance” movies can be a bit much. Mikey (Jordan) is probably the most successful one of our guys. He works as a full time doctor and seemed to have it all. He got married at a really young age, and now his wife Vera (Lucas) wants a divorce and is sleeping with her lawyer. His two best friends Jason (Efron) and Daniel (Teller) are still living the single life and are excited to have their bro back. It is time for the boys to be boys again. All three seem to have successful jobs as Jason and Daniel both work as illustrators for book jackets. In the evening they typically spend the night with their other friend Chelsea (Davis) at the local bar or club hitting on a variety of girls looking for a little action or potential girlfriend. In the mornings, they get coffee and breakfast and discuss the previous evening’s shenanigans. One of Jason’s latest hook-ups asks the “So…?” question wondering where their relationship is going. He does not even realize they were in a relationship. The guys decide to set some rules for their “bro-code” where they decide to just spend some time enjoying the single life.
For these three good looking young men, that plan lasts about two hot seconds. Jason’s one-night stand with Ellie (Poots) turns into a romance after some awkward encounters later on. Daniel and Chelsea decide to take their friendship to the next level after spending many nights where she gets other girls to notice him. Mikey decides to try to make it work with Vera by adding some romance back into their relationship. All three of these new relationships are kept secret as no one wants to admit to breaking their pact.
Zac Efron has been making a variety of edgier and more adult films with a wide variety of characters as he desperately tries to shed his High School Musical/Disney image. He was completely miscast in The Lucky One while Parkland and The Paperboy did not leave lasting impressions on anyone. Efron acts as producer here as well and has finally found a project that fits where he is at as an actor. The role actually fits in his age bracket and seems suitable for his image. Miles Teller had a great 2013 with indie hit The Spectacular Now and has a few more big hits coming this year. Michael B. Jordan gave one of my favorite performances of last year in the heavy hitting Fruitvale Station. I will watch him in anything. All three of them are very different actors and types so at first it may seem like an odd combination for three best friends, but the combination works quite well. They have great chemistry together and each of their roles are suited to them.
I do not think the script is as original and funny as it wants to be. There is some good back and forth banter between the guys as they are always trying to top each other with one-liners and witty quips knocking the other one’s manhood or guilty pleasures. Even though it has it’s funny moments, the majority of it is quite predictable. I know I should not be expecting plot twists or anything like that, but even some of the predicaments and dialogue is standard for these types of movies. Of course the Efron character is going to make some bone-headed choices. You know he will try some elaborate scheme to woo the girl. I do give it some credit for not giving in and making it a total gross-out comedy. The film focuses on the ups and downs in the relationships that these guys have. Yes, there are penis jokes but it is not as obnoxious and forced as some other comedies are these days. That type of humor does come with single straight guys in their twenties so some of it is a bit expected.
That Awkward Moment feels like a mix of American Pie meets “Sex and the City” and is probably catered toward young men in their early twenties as its core audience. I am not that demographic anymore, so I do not think I enjoyed it as much as some of the other audiences members I saw it with did. There were a few times where the audience was just rolling with laughter. It is probably funnier if you are currently living the same life these characters are, which I am not. That is not to say it is a dumb movie. Despite the film being on the predictable side, it is mildly entertaining due to Efron, Jordan, and Teller. All three feel suited to their characters quite well. Sure these guys may make stupid decisions from time to time, but they are all seem real and genuine to what guys in their twenties are probably like these days. Imogen Poots and Mackenzie Davis are charming as well and should not go unnoticed despite it being a “guys” movie. This ensemble gives the movie more life and energy than the fairly average script has in store.
RATING: *** (3 out of 5 stars)