That Awkward Moment Review

Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller star in Focus Features’ THAT AWKWARD MOMENT.
Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller star in Focus Features’ THAT AWKWARD MOMENT.

Three twenty-somethings, fresh off painful splits vow to stray single and live out every single young man’s dream together.

That dream is of course a fantasy, women aren’t sexual objects to be won and discarded and they aren’t emotionally invulnerable or immune from growing up. And therein lies the comedy.

Their dream of building a roster of casual sex partners is wrong on every level. You just know going in that there is plenty of disappointment and regret ahead and a lot of head-scratching as they try to unravel their severely skewed view of women.

Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B Jordan are good pals on the rebound. Efron’s trying to elude commitment of any kind, as is Teller.

Jordan’s wife has just announced she has a lover and is divorcing him. He isn’t afraid of commitment but he does learn how it feels when love is squandered. Therefore Jordan gets all the gravitas and the others the Peter Pan wrong end of the stick.

They develop nascent relationships with women but deny they have feelings for them in order to prop up this pact and to save themselves from fraternal humiliation when things don’t work out. It’s awkward in every way. True feelings arise, and are regretfully squelched.

They blame their dates claiming that when a woman starts a sentence with “So…” (Where is this going, when are we moving in?) The relationship is no longer useful or desirable to them because commitment is implied.

But the film is not even that interesting. The male characters are unabashedly juvenile. Hey! Let’s show Teller and Efron peeing in interesting gymnastic ways!!

And make them nude! In a groan worthy joke gone wrong – in every way – Efron straps on a sex toy for a costume party, Teller uses using self-tanner on his parts and there are flights of fancy down Bodily Function Lane.

There’s not much to admire and it’s odd that any of these fine actors would participate in the film. It’s not a film to enhance the résumé of up and coming actors, but what do I know? Nevertheless the film’s weaknesses are not just its awkward.

The male characters wear their misogyny proudly, and hypocrisy is their new black. They lie, think the worst of women on no evidence, and treat them like dirt, plain and simple. It’s frankly insulting to young women and men.

It’s clumsily written with glaring grammar mistakes, and loosely directed and edited. Gormican coproduced Movie 43 so its messiness and peculiarity are almost expected. Subplots fly around as though they were dreamed up on the spot.

On the upside, there are funny moments, male friendships, female characters that don’t stand for crap but, unfortunately, squeal with glee when their man is nice to them.

There’s a nice young vibe. The set designs are terrific from the men’s New York apartments to one of the girls’ upper crust home and the private park off Gramercy and the de riguer neighborhood eatery where the gang gathers. New York looks nice and friendly. But it’s peopled with idiots.

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