The men of the bromantic comedy “That Awkward Moment” just wrapped up quite a successful year: Michael B. Jordan gave a breakthrough performance in “Fruitvale Station,” the shocking real-life story of a 22-year old man who was shot and killed by a police officer on New Year's Eve; Miles Teller, who had previously taken on supporting roles in movies like “Project X” and 2011’s “Footloose” remake, starred alongside Shailene Woodley in the beautiful coming-of-age Sundance hit “The Spectacular Now”; and Zac Efron, who is probably still best known as “High School Musical”’s basketball-player-turned-singer Troy Bolton, had lead roles in movies “Parkland” and “At Any Price.”
Besides featuring such talented young stars, these movies all shared one common thread: they weren’t afraid to embrace the dark elements of their stories.
So it comes as no surprise that they decided to follow those movies up with “That Awkward Moment,” a comedy about three best friends who make a pact to remain single. But of course, this is soon put to the test when they’re each faced with potential relationships.
“I didn’t want my mom to see my die anymore on screen,” laughed Jordan. “It was just enough. This was the perfect opportunity to play a character that was a little less stereotypical…it was a safe place for me to take risks and experiment with my comedic side. So this was kind of the perfect choice for me after ‘Fruitvale.’”
“I was bummed I didn’t get [the role] in ‘Fruitvale,’ because I was down to the final two,” joked Teller. “I met [writer/director] Tom [Gormican] at a bar – it was a mutual friend’s 21st birthday – and she introduced us. So we were taking some shots of tequila, hitting on girls and doing the thing, and the next day Tom was like, ‘Hey man I wrote this movie and I think you would be perfect for the part of Daniel.’ And I read it, and I thought the script was really funny and had a lot of heart. I’ve done some comedies that maybe didn’t have the heart in it, and I thought it would be a lot of fun to work on. And it was.”
Teller brings his usual jokester charm to the character of Daniel, a fast-talking, booze-guzzling guy who starts sleeping with one of his female friends. Rounding out the trio are Jason (Efron), a book cover designer who starts to fall for an aspiring author, and Mikey (Jordan), a doctor who just found out that his wife cheated on him and wants a divorce.
In some ways, “That Awkward Moment” is a chick flick with a male perspective. There are extra-cute meet cutes. There are grand gestures. And let’s not forget the breakup with a side of ice cream.
Early on in the movie, Jason and Daniel find Mikey getting ready to comfort-eat a pint of peanut butter chocolate. “What are you, Bridget Jones?” Jason taunts him. Later, one of the characters is seen obsessively Facebook stalking an ex. When a fellow journalist pointed out to the guys that this seemed like a stereotypically female thing to do, they all erupted in laughter.
“Dude, guys do that so much; I didn’t even know girls do that. I thought it was purely a guy thing. That’s so funny,” said Teller.
As for Gormican, this is exactly what he was going for.
“I think that’s one of the things that this movie tries to do, to say that these gender-specific roles are not that anymore -- if they ever were. The lines are blurred. And while that may sound like sort of an obvious thing, it’s kind of underrepresented in film, popular culture, and TV.”
“That Awkward Moment” is now in theaters. For showtimes in Miami Beach, click here