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Movie Review: 'That Awkward Moment' goes outside the box on men in relationships

'That Awkward Moment' movie


"That Awkward Moment" goes outside the box of the regular doofus comedies that men are usually in. In this film, men aren't absolutely clueless about women. They're not heartless. They're grudgingly fighting against the usual one-night-stand stereotype. They don't high-five each other's bad advice. They challenge each other's cowardly moments. And they're not afraid to meet a woman's parents even if one of them does it with a dildo around his waist. Yes, a dildo. Awkward moments indeed.

(L-R) Actor Michael B. Jordan, actor Zac Efron and actor Miles Teller arrive at the premiere of Focus Features' 'That Awkward Moment' at Regal Cinemas L.A. Live on January 27, 2014 in Los Angeles, Calif.
Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images

Jason (played by Zac Efron) is a charismatic, good-looking guy who embraces the single life. He's caught completely off-guard by Ellie (played by Imogen Poots). She's his one-night stand that he can't help but want to be around more often. The problem is he has to explain why he thinks she's a prostitute.

Daniel (played by Miles Teller) is one of those guys that doesn't understand why he doesn't get more dates even though his pick-up lines are the worst and he's superficial. But he's caught and kept the eye of his wingwoman/platonic friend Chelsea (played by Mackenzie Davis), and neither of them is sure they still just want to be friends. And then they aren't friends. Until they are again.

Mikey (played by Michael B. Jordan) is married to Vera (played by Jessica Lucas), but he's heartbroken when he comes home to find out that his wife wants a divorce after cheating on him with a lawyer named Harold (played by D.B. Woodside), who he insists on telling everyone looks exactly like Morris Chestnut. (It's a given that anyone who really doesn't know who Morris Chestnut is looked the actor up after this film.)

All of these scenarios are interesting, but nothing about the previews for "That Awkward Moment" looked like a film that people should rush out to movie theaters to see. The problem is the movie was actually worth supporting so that sucks for moviegoers who waited too late.

Whether you're into "The Wire," "Fruitvale Station" or "Red Tails," Michael B. Jordan has yet to star in a bad film so that alone should've made (at least) his fans pony up the money to see this romantic comedy. And for fans of Ray Romano's "Men of a Certain Age," it's just nice to see the black guy be the married guy for once. It happens so rarely in films, but just as the TV show did, neither Andre Braugher or Jordan look forced into their roles. It comes across as natural and funny.

This film literally has countless awkward moments that could mix situations that happen to everyone in real life and no one except people in movies. The beauty of the film is the sincerity in that mix of instances. And the weirdest scenes are worth at least a chuckle, including their answer to how to pee with a boner. Not that Justin Timberlake's character Dylan from "Friends With Benefits" didn't have a good alternative, but the entertaining position in "That Awkward Moment" was more fun to watch. It wasn't as memorable as the shower scene or the suntan lotion scene but close.

The brotherhood in the film was realistic, and director/writer Tom Gormican did a great job of making the film funny without being corny and serious without being whiny. That's very hard to do with rom-coms, but he pulled it off. And for fans of "The Wire," the off-script scene with Michael K. Williams and Jordan is worth seeing, too.

Shamontiel is also The Wire Examiner, and for the gladiators, she's the Scandal Examiner, too.

Follow Shamontiel on Pinterest for all of her latest TV, book, music and movie reviews; photo galleries; entertainment saving tips and other entries, or subscribe to her National African American Entertainment channel at the top of this page. Also, follow her @BlackHealthNews, and follow this Pinterest board to read her celebrity interviews.

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