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Three 20 something-year-old friends attempting to deal with finding “the one”
Review (with Spoilers)
That Awkward Moment plays out like a show which HBO would make a pilot out of. The combination of Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B. Jordan as college friends in New York dealing with relationships sounds like HBO’s stand by since Sex and The City. But, instead of this being a television program, which could have worked in my opinion, it is a feature film which also features Imogen Poots, a small role from Addison Timlin, and a bunch of people I have never heard of.
Characters & Story
Jason (played by Zac Efron) is a charismatic, artistic, and charming character. But, he has one fear: The “so…” This fear comes from that moment, that awkward moment, when a girl wants to know where the situation is going. Are they going to date, are they going nowhere, or what? Now, being that Jason is in his early 20s, just getting some type of career going using his talents, he isn’t ready for all the pressures of a relationship, well until Ellie (played by Imogen Poots) enters his life.
Mikey (played by Michael B. Jordan) has done everything right. He became a doctor, got married to his sweetheart Vera (played by Jessica Lucas), and yet is in misery. Why? Well, his wife is cheating on him. And for his awkward moment, he comes home to find Vera and Harold (played by D.B. Woodside) on his couch, not having sex, but ready to inform him they have.
Lastly, there is Daniel (played by Miles Teller). The goody, happy go lucky, friend of the group is very similar to Jason, but what he lacks in All-American handsome features, he makes up for in personality. With this personality, he seemingly finds a way to wiggle into the life of Chelsea (played by Mackenzie Davis) who is originally introduced as his wing woman but, awkwardly, evolves into something more.
Together, we venture through, roughly, a year with these men as they try to deal with their relationships. One trying to mend a relationship; one in a perpetual state of making up for something stupid he did; and the last one seemingly only having the issue of getting caught in a lie.
Something I liked about the film was it tried, as best as it could, to stay in the middle. It wasn’t trying to fully be a bro-mantic comedy, featuring genital jokes and jokes about what would happen if two of the friends hooked up, nor did it try to really go too deep as it explored Mikey’s issues with his wife. It, instead, tried to find a middle ground so while it did touch on the mental and emotional state of the lead actors enough for you to understand the current mindset they were in, there was no deep backstory about their childhoods which explained how they came to be how they are. Rather than that, things are kept pretty need to know basis, and they try to lean more toward being lightly comedic than downright funny.
But, with this film, I think all the male leads do well in adding another notch in their filmography worth seeing. For while no one gives an award worthy performance, they all convey their characters in such a way where it is like they play different archetypes. Jason is the lovable bastard; Mikey is the guy your parents want you with; and Daniel the guy you love because he makes you laugh. Each actor seems like their character is hardly a stretch for them, and considering past roles of these men you can understand why I say that.
When it comes to the jokes in the film, pretty much they seem like stuff Seth Rogen didn’t think was funny enough and got stolen by writer Tom Gormican. Add onto that, while I did love the relationship dynamics between the lead male and female actors, the story pretty much followed the usual rise, the guy does something stupid, and makeup routine. But, what makes this horrible is the fact Jason’s mess up seems unforgivable, at least to me. Then, to add onto the film’s issues, for Daniel, one scene in which he is with Chelsea leads to an unanswered question. She references past girlfriends Daniel has had, and his face becomes somber on the mention. Making me wonder if he perhaps has a similar past to Jason, or maybe got through a bad relationship like Mikey is having.
Overall: Worth Seeing
I won’t say this is something you need to see opening weekend, unless you have a strong desire to see any of these men partly nude. However, I think it is worth seeing for all the leads have good chemistry with one another, be it the guys together, or with their love interest counterparts. But, considering the genital jokes seem tired, and the overall story really doesn’t bring any new perspective or take to the formula most movies featuring romance have, again, there is no reason to rush.