Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, and Zac Efron are some of the hottest rising young actors out there right now. Michael B. Jordan had an Oscar Worthy turn in “Fruitvale Station”, and Miles Teller was getting a lot of recognition for “The Spectacular Now”. While Zac Efron is proving himself to be more than just another Disney tween star trying to make it big. Now all three of them team up, “That Awkward Moment”. This project sure did have a bunch of talent behind it. Yet even with all that talent, still the movie is not a winner. The film tries to be more than every other romantic comedy ever made but falls into the same traps of the genre and mostly laugh free throughout a good portion of the film. Although it does boast good performances out of its co-stars and occasionally smart dialogue, “That Awkward Moment” falters on most of the things it sets out to do.
“That Awkward Moment” follows three best friends in New York City through their trials in relationships. The three of them agree not to commit to any long term relationships and live it up as friends for what could be the last time in their lives. However one by one, they start going on their own separate path finding loving and trying to keep these growing relationships hidden from the others in the group.
The movie tries way too hard to be different than other romantic comedies. But ends up become the same clichéd movie as all the other films. You have three characters, one is the ladies man, another is the funny guy, and lastly the guy who wants a serious relationship. All three are extremely well dressed, with expensive fashion model level clothes while living in upscale appointments in Manhattan that there is no way they could afford with the jobs they have and live a mostly care free lifestyle while exchanging fast witted dialogue to almost unrealistic degree. Yeah I feel like I’ve seen this movie before.
I do give the movie credit for trying to at least break apart from other typical movies of the genre. The dialogue isn’t always clichéd and is certainly smarter than others. While the generic streamline plot isn’t there from the start the movie becomes increasingly lazy as it starts to fall into the same plot traps we’ve all seen before. Which because of the direction of the film is much more bearable and as an audience member a bit more accepting because of the talent on camera and a solid direction behind it.
More than generic plotting, which probably should be expected to happen, there are two cardinal sins this movie makes that hurts it. For a good portion of the film, it isn’t funny when it’s trying to be funny and the characters aren’t very likeable. The movie starts off funny then very quickly becomes not funny. Many of the jokes misfire or actually come off….well awkward. Which is ironic considering the film’s title. It never picks up the loss in momentum with its humor and never recovers.
The most troubling though is how unlikeable the main characters are. All of them consistently cheat, lie, commit other unforgivable acts in a relationship and do amazing amount of other stupid shit that is not funny and in fact does the reserve effect and makes us look down upon the characters instead of seeing them as “fun” and likeable people.
The movie’s biggest strength however comes from the cast. You can see why these young actors are rising stars. Despite the movie lacks with good material to get any laughs out of the audience, they make the most of it and do help elevate the material. Zac Efron is the ladies man, Michael B. Jordan is the guy who wants a serious relationship, and Miles Teller is the funny guy. All three have terrific on screen chemistry between one another. Each one get deliver a line with quick wit precision while also nailing the more heavier dramatic scenes we are treated too. These guys continue to grow and I look forward to their future projects.
This is from first time director Tom Gormican and for a first time effort this isn’t horrible. His writing could use a little work but behind the camera he could have some potential if he picks the right projects. There is nothing outstanding that he behind the camera, but the cinematography is nice and he got good performances out of his actors. Hopefully he can grow a bit more.
Like in sports sometimes the most talented teams don’t actually come out and win anything. This is true for this film, a movie loaded with talent and a decent first time director but couldn’t push across a winning run. An okay film that isn’t the worst romantic comedy out there but certainly isn’t the best.