Review: That Awkward Moment
Written by Steven Panzarella(@ProCreateSteve)
The Short- While filled with a cast of up and coming talented actors and actresses That Awkward Moment is a by the books R rated romantic comedy that forgets to take advantage of the talent. Teller, Efron, and Jordan have good chemistry but a lack of story to utilize them. That Awkward Moment is at times funny but fails to get past the rom-com clichés and never reaches its full potential.
That Awkward Moment is at first glance a film that could have broken through the normal romantic comedy mold. It’s jam packed with up and coming young talent that includes Sundance wonder boy Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now, Divergent), Oscar snub Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) and the very busy and talented British actress Imogen Poots (Need for Speed, Terence Malik’s Knight Of Cups). It is directed and written by newbie Tom Gormican which could have gone either way but sadly for That Awkward Moment Gormican failed to steer clear of the classic movie tropes that plague the romantic comedy genre.That Awkward Moment it drowns in the banality of a late January- early February studio drop in, with a good enough cast to make money but not good enough for a summer release date. It utilizes Miles Teller and Zac Efron and practically ignores Jordan until closer to the end of the film. The strange part about ignoring your third billed star is the movie is based around a bet placed between the three men following Mike’s (Jordan) impending divorce. The three men agree to put off relationships for a life of casual sex until the time is right for all three. This of course means that two of the three enter into relationships no more than days into the bet. In a petty, only in the movies turn of events they decide to keep it from each other until the film’s final act.
That Awkward Moment has moments where it is actually very funny, most of the scenes with Miles Teller and Zac Efron or when all three gentlemen are in the same room. It’s only funny in brief moments and doesn’t manage to keep it up. It’s also telling that for a movie called That Awkward Moment there are only two real awkward moments, one where Jason (Efron) goes to Ellie’s (Poots) birthday party and is told to “dress up”, something he takes the wrong way. It’s a funny, redeeming scene for a character that goes back and forth between selfish and charming. Efron is the least talented member of the group but may one day be able to shock us the same way Channing Tatum did in 21 Jump Street, sadly that day is not today. It’s not totally his fault though, besides a few gags the script lacks the personality needed to make this movie work.
That Awkward Moments main characters might be the three gentlemen but it’s also about the three women that force them to rethink their love lives. Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis, and Jessica Lucas play the love interests of Jason, Daniel, and Mike and are one of the more positive aspects of That Awkward Moment. Poots/Efron and Davis/Teller have good chemistry while Jordan and Lucas lack the fire of a married couple on the outs. The women especially Imogen Poots and Mackenzie Davis are good and in a better movie would have made that much more of a difference.
To say That Awkward Moment should be considered a failure would be correct. It fails its’ charming and impressive cast and falls short of adding a new layer to a genre that has practically seen it all. It’s a shame because if it were funnier it would have been a memorable flick.