There’s Nothing Awkward About “That Awkward Moment”
That Awkward Moment
Release Date: January 31, 2014
Cast: Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis, Jessica Lucas
Director: Tom Gormican
Studio: Treehouse Pictures, Aversano Media, What If It Barks Films
Distributor: Focus Features
Genre(s): Romantic Comedy, Bromantic Comedy
That Awkward Moment is a hard movie to sum up.
In a way, it’s sort of the perfect date movie.
It’s a romantic comedy at it’s very core. But it’s also got a lot of that crude, bro-tastic humor, too. Not enough to necessarily turn someone off and expect it to turn into, say, Jack Ass 4 with a plot or seem like just another direct-to-DVD American Pie spinoff. But definitely enough to keep guys who usually hate romantic comedies interested. It’s fun. It’s got some really great humor.
The relationships are a bit stereotypical and the resolutions generally follow the predictable rom-com format.
But who cares?
All of the criticism I’ve seen for this move from other outlets have bemoaned a predictable storyline and the usual romantic comedy flare but… isn’t that what we want? Isn’t that why we go to see movies like this? Besides, no matter what anyone else says, this is definitely not your usual romantic comedy.
That Awkward Moment tries mix things up by telling the story from the male perspective and we don’t get a whole lot of those. The ones we do get are rarely that great and they sacrifice a lot to appeal to a male audience. The good thing about That Awkward Moment is that it manages to appeal to both genders without sacrificing too much to appeal to one demographic or the other. Zac Efron helps with this, too. The High School Musical generation is now in college and seriously dating. He’s a great pick for a film that rounds out it’s fantastic male cast with the increasingly ubiquitous Miles Teller and the wonderful Michael B. Jordan (who most people I guess know him from Fruitvale Station but who I will always remember from Chronicle).
The three play a group of college friends all living in New York City several years after graduating. Jason (Efron) is a serial dater who spends his days working as a book cover artists and his nights working through a “roster” of women who enjoy hooking up just as much as he does. It works out great for him until the “so.” According to him, once a girl says “so” that’s the end. “So where is this going?” Jason is out. His friend Daniel (Teller) is much the same. The only one with a stable relationship is Mikey (Jordan) who finds out at the very beginning of the movie that his wife has been cheating on him with Morris Chestnut. (Not really Morris Chestnut but… really Morris Chestnut.)
In a moment of comraderie, Jason declares that they will all stay single together and teach Mikey what it’s like to be a free agent again. But then Jason meets Ellie. Daniel realizes he wants something more from his friend, Chelsea. And Mikey starts trying to make things work with his wife.
I liked watching the guys try to navigate these new eras in their life.
I mean, it was a sort of mysoginistic movie, yes. The guys were guys and Jason in particular was kind of a douche at times. They didn’t seem to think that highly of relationships but, at the same time, they didn’t necessarily think poorly of women entirely either. It sort of toed the line.
In the end, what I really liked about the whole thing was that it felt like a truly modern comedy, the sort of comedy someone my age could relate to and enjoy. I could see the conversations the guys had happening between me and my guy friends. I could see us all making some of the same jokes. Most romantic comedies – even those with younger actors – stick to the same old formula we’ve seen in romantic comedies for years. This movie saw people my age using social media (there’s a fantastic scene with Jason Facebook stalking a guy in Ellie’s pictures) and generally acting like the self entitled assholes our generation has kind of become. It felt almost real.
My only complaints? For a movie called That Awkward Moment none of the moments struck me as that awkward. At least not that awkward. In real life they may have been in the movie they just get breezed past. (Except for Fred.) Also: the one line opening narration and the lack of any subsequent narration? I wasn’t feeling it. I also didn’t see the “pact” to stay single as a bet or any real compelling plot device as they used it. It could have been but I never really realized they were under any real obligation to stay single until one guy found out about the other guy so. Maybe that was just me.Ultimately, all that mattered was the relationships, the humor, and the story. It all came together, it was a fun movie. Not the best movie in the world by any shot but definitely fun and definitely one that I could see a lot of people enjoying.
Great date movie. If you’re looking for something to go see with the guys maybe skip it but with your guy or with your girlfriends definitely go for it. Because even though it is a guy’s romantic comedy it’s still a romantic comedy. So you have to take it for what it is. Also: Marvel fans? This may be your only chance to see Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller together on screen if Miles Teller doesn’t get cast as Mister Fantastic so you better check it out!
Therese: It’s a funny movie if you don’t put too much thought into it. But then there are misogynist jokes left and right, and I find myself uncomfortable 30% of the movie. Zac Efron makes a good effort, and I can finally look at him and not think of his scene singing “Bet On It” in High School Musical 2, but Miles Teller and Imogen Poots stole the show for me.