Movie Review: 'That Awkward Moment' (2014)

"That awkward moment" when you realize that a movie is not what you expected. As three 20-something yuppies set out to stay single in support of their newly separated friend, the slippery slope of expectations quickly crumble.

“That Awkward Moment” is just as much about bromance as it is romance. For approximately an hour and a half, the film tries to convince its audience that its trio of young, irrepressible bachelors are worth caring for, and capable of personal improvement.

The film seems heavily influenced by the 80’s angst riddled dramas that also explored the plight of the privileged i.e. “St. Elmo’s Fire”. None of the guys in this movie; save for the cheated on Mikey (Michael B. Jordan), have anything to complain about.

Their lives are hard, simply because they find drama of their own making to exploit. Jason (Zac Efron) and Daniel (Miles Teller) have a cushy hipster-ific job with a fantastically lit office space, and dapper domiciles.

As the movie wears on, it drags with little dynamic flair and the constant boys-in-the-treehouse feel of the dialogue has a propensity to agitate infinitum. Keeping count of the amount of times a character uttered “you’re so stupid” was next to impossible due to its frequency. 

One gag late in the film is another example of it wallowing in its unease, albeit, the scenario is not uncomfortable at all for the characters observing it. Efron’s Jason moseys around a party in a vulgar costume without even attempting to rectify the situation, which could have easily been accomplished.

Instead, he carries on as if he is not acting incredibly inappropriate. To top it off, one of the characters who should be offended the most, gives him a virtual “thumbs up”. The scene might’ve sounded good on paper but its visual incarnation would beg to differ.

Why any self-respecting female would desire to be in a relationship with the childish characters presented in this film, is a frightening notion. They lack any maturity and there is zero personal growth presented that gives them any redemptive qualities by the story’s end. The characters only serve as the archetype of a jerk. 

Where the film does succeed is in pushing the envelope of some raunchy taboos. The only problem is it is not merely as effective as others that have come before it. The performances of Imogen Poots and Mackenzie Davis stand out with a sharp sprinkling of sensibility as the two women mired in dead-end romances.

Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller fare better than Zac Efron who just doesn’t click as the film’s lead. Teller gets off some good zingers before being plunged into a recurring abyss of coarse dialogue. As a trio, the cast lacks the chemistry of comrades. 

The direction lacks urgency as the repartee often veers out of timing and the scenes lack a comedic rhythm. The weird interlude of an 80’s style melody never formulates into anything substantial and neither does an actual soundtrack. The greatest takeaway from this film is the crystallized presentation of when women reduce their self-respect.

The women in this movie deserve so much more than a recycled speech to woo them back after a horrific betrayal. This is a demonstration of settling and it’s not pretty. It’s embarrassing. Rating: 6/10

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