Review: That Awkward Moment
There is in fact a pair of these titular awkward instances, at least ones that are particularly different from normal uncomfortable sexual moments, and both involve Zac Efron’s womanizing, idiotic character. It would be that these two scenes, one where he questions the career of a woman he slept with, and another where he shows up to a dinner party with questionable attire, were the impetus for this empty, pointless film.
Truly, there is little that happens and even less said in this trite rom-com as told from a (stereotypical) male’s perspective. Starring Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller, all of whom have had way more interesting roles in way better movies, That Awkward Moment is about three mostly pathetic, only slightly endearing 20-somethings who struggle with relationships because they are scared, as well as stupid.
Their attitudes are that of the typical movie male, as this story written and directed by Tom Gormican carries with it subtle and offensive subtext, as nearly every male simply wants to sleep with woman so as to acquire another notch on the figurative belt, while every woman simply wants to be in a committed, well-defined relationship.
While Mikey (Jordan) learns his wife wants a divorce, both Jason (Efron) and Daniel (Teller) rejoice that their best-bud triad will now feature three single men who can prowl together. Incidentally, Mikey actually becomes the most sympathetic character, even though he insists his night out as a single man, where we see him sit alone on a couch in a bar and later get a quirky girl’s phone number, was the best night ever.
Unsurprisingly, Jason and Daniel each get involved with women with whom they start to feel things that usually comprise actually relationships – you know, caring and the like. So, as they are juvenile, and portray men in a terrible light, they lie to the women, lie to each other, and bumble their way along a predictable path to respective eye-rolling conclusions.
There are jokes that hit, especially from Teller who continues to assume, and good for him, roles similar to a younger Jonah Hill, but they are few and far between. Were it not for the inherent charm and likeability of the three stars, this ineffectual and forgettable comedy would be straight offensive and repulsing.
Despite all the misogynist subtext, it still feels safe and familiar. There is nothing that will be remotely new to any audience- you can map out the plot points on the back of your ticket stub five minutes into the movie – and even though there is an R-rating, it is nowhere near as outrageous or provocative as it thinks it is, or wants to be.
For the target audience, none of that really matters. Efron get into some funny and peculiar situations, Jordan should get more attention from this following his underrated incredible performance in Fruitvale Station last year, and Teller can continue his rise as the loud, raunchy, best friend character. Let’s just hope there is no sequel in the works – This Awkward Moment, anyone?