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‘That Awkward Moment’ or ‘That Boring Movie’?

Published February 11, 2014

'That Awkward Moment' features Miles Teller (left), Zac Efron (middle) and Michael B. Jordan (right). Photo by Treehouse Pictures.

‘That Awkward Moment’ features Miles Teller, Zac Efron and Michael B. Jordan. Photo by Treehouse Pictures.

Just because a cute rom-com trailer with the gorgeous Zac Efron looks enjoyable, it does not mean you should spend $10 and 1.5 hours of your life to go see it.

“That Awkward Moment,” directed by Tom Gormican, tells the story of three guy best-friends in their late 20s living in New York City who, together, make a pact to stay single.  The friends, played by Efron (“17 Again,” “High School Musical”), Miles Teller (“The Spectacular Now,” “Footloose”) and Michael B. Jordan (“Fruitvale Station,” “Friday Night Lights”), all run into complications as each one falls for a girl and tries to keep the relationship a secret. (Whoa, didn’t see that part coming.)

Yes, when you walk into a romantic comedy you must go in with the understanding that the plot will be predictable. The reason this genre is supposed to be enjoyable, though, is that its predictable storyline is counteracted with the humor of the movie. This comedy was, to say the least, below par, making it one of those films where you constantly check your watch and ask yourself, “How much longer until this actually gets good?”

The plot lines that were supposed to be funny were “you had to be there” moments, meaning that they would have only been funny if you had experienced them in real life but the comedy failed to translate through the screen. There might have been a few cute or funny moments that made you smile, but the ones that were aimed at making the audience laugh out loud did not accomplish their goals.

According to an interview of the actors presented by ScreenSlam, the point of the film was to show what navigating through personal issues is “really like” for 20-something-year-old guys in the 21st century, such as how they act differently depending on whether they’re hanging out with only guys, only girls or both. While the concept is appealing and the film certainly portrays these moments well, they did not really make a connection with the audience. There is practically nothing about the film that makes you smile to yourself or simultaneously turn to grin at your friend (with the exception of Efron’s flawless figure, of course).

Given the limited dimensions of the roles, the actors did a competent job with their respective parts. Additionally, in “That Awkward Moment,” Efron simply plays an older version of the other high school characters that he was typecasted as in the past (such as Troy Bolton in “High School Musical”). Although he did a good performance of the casual, laid-back guy in “That Awkward Moment,” Efron caused the audience to wonder whether he is capable of taking risks and playing characters besides the ones he is comfortable with.

Teller and Jordan’s characters added two other unique personalities to complement that of Efron’s, however, the script detracted from the chemistry. While the vision of the friendship had the potential to show the depth and complications that result from relationships, the writing only scratched the surface of this topic and failed to progress the movie in an interesting manner.

Consider yourself lucky to be living in the 21st century where movie reviews like the 23% rating on rotten tomatoes are easily accessible before you spend both time and money on going out to the theatres. News flash: they’re usually pretty accurate. Trailers can often be deceiving, but hey, props to producer Scott Aversano.

If you do decide to go see “That Awkward Moment” for the sole purpose of staring at Zac Efron’s beautiful face and body, then that’s fine too. We totally understand. Just be aware that a Zac-attack is going to be one of the only positive reactions you’ll get.

That Awkward Moment

1 hour 34 minutes

Rated R for sexual content and language throughout

Directed by Tom Gormican

With Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Mackenzie Davis and Imogen Poots


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