With the Super Bowl being the most widely seen element this weekend, the films being released are intended as counterprogramming. In year’s past, a film may find an audience or long legs, while box office as a whole remains quiet. This year appears no different. With two releases geared more toward those not the game, the hope is finding something entertaining for any frame of mind. The title getting the biggest push is “That Awkward Moment.”
Best friends Mikey, Jason, and Daniel (Michael B. Jordan, Zac Efron, and Miles Teller, respectively) find themselves all single at once. Between Mikey uncovering the affair his wife is having and the player mentalities of Jason and Daniel, the three decide to take advantage of their shared bachelor status. No dating for any of them. Hookups can happen, but nothing serious. As soon as the boys take such a vow, each find become involved with women that may be more the long term type. And the harder the fight it, the harder things get.
The marketing for the film is a bit misleading. Despite the R rating and the implied raunch factor, the actual movie is quite tame. The film emphasizes the heart of the story rather than the escapades the three guys go through. It’s a romantic comedy poising as a graphic Judd Apatow style imitation.
Once the controversy of the bait-and-switch fades into the background, “That Awkward Moment” still feels flat. The male leads are convincing and loveable with chemistry to spare. But a story can’t be built on three friends when the film spends more time with them apart. Efron in particular does well to further distance himself from child actor and into established star roles. But at its best, the film seems to only serve as a reminder that Efron has a second film coming out later this year (“Neighbors”).
It has a charming and likeable cast who almost save the thin script. The gags occasionally hit their target, but the ones that do make the scene. Despite such, “That Awkward Moment” isn’t funny or awkward enough to really merit an audience. 2 out of 5 stars
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