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"That Awkward Moment" Comes When You Realize You Paid to Sit Through This Film

That Awkward Moment (movie)


Most successful romantic comedies centers on an unlucky in love girl. The girls are the bread and butter of the genre as they try to make their way through the rough dating waters. “That Awkward Moment” attempts to flip the script. In the process, the film proceeds to show that it knows nothing about either gender.

Mike is a successful emergency room doctor, happily married. But after Mike’s wife tells him that she has been cheating on him and wants a divorce, his two best friends try to take him out to welcome him back to being single. In solidarity, Jason and Daniel decide to make a pact to stay single with Mike. Just as they make the pact, however, Jason and Daniel both meet the women of their dreams. As they fall deeper and deeper in love, they try to hide the relationships from each other by ridiculing the others for supposedly breaking the pact. It isn’t done in a screwball comedic way of double lives or hidden agendas, but rather it is done without a single laugh.

“That Awkward Moment” wants to be a guy’s romantic comedy while satisfying the female audience members as well. When dealing with the romantic entanglements of the leading men, the film is so sickeningly sweet that you could end up with cavities. The rest of the time, the film may as well have been written by a couple of fraternity brothers.
Through a paper thin plot, writer and first time feature director Tom Gormican is attempting to say something about gender wars. What truly comes through is that he doesn’t know anything about relationships. In an attempt to forgo conventional Hollywood stereotypes, Gormican has flipped the script with the men trying to navigate the rough waters. He ends up giving them much more slack and chances than any woman would ever truly allow.

With the trifecta of leading men – Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan – “That Awkward Moment” has plenty of eye candy. But for some reason it is missing charisma. Efron, as the leader of the group ends up shouldering the most weight, suffers the most. The "High School Music" heart throb's biggest contribution to the film is his inclination to roam in various states of undress for much of the film. With each of the actors on the verge with promising roles coming up, “That Awkward Moment” will be seen as the film that started the ball rolling with its cast.

The female members of the cast are little more than scenery throughout the film. Each of the actresses show sparks of excitement, but the script doesn’t ask for them to do anything. Mackenzie Davis shows promise as a platonic friend who turns into something more with Daniel. The only female who is given any kind of arc throughout the film is Jessica Lucas, as Michael’s cheating wife. Her arc, however, is also one of the weakest elements of the film due to the obviousness of its outcome. The romantic comedy genre isn’t one that usually offers too many surprises along the way to the happily ever after, but even for the genre this has one of the least surprising outcomes.

“That Awkward Moment” tries to have its cake and eat it too. It never gets raunchy enough to entice guys to see a “chick flick” but it is also too predictable and syrupy to keep girls from getting bored. The real awkward moment is when you realize that you’ve been hoodwinked into watching a movie that doesn’t live up to the promise of its trailers.