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"That Awkward Moment" Review: Zac Efron's Rat Pack

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That Awkward Moment


Three young guys (Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan) with the world at their feet decide to swear off commitments, not taking into account that they're perpetually horny and they're surrounded by beautiful women who won't stop to go home with them in the bromantic rom-com "That Awkward Moment" by Tom Gormican.

So what is the awkward moment mentioned on the marquee? In flashback, Jason (Zac Efron) refers to it as the "So..." moment, where a woman asks a guy if they're in a relationship or just bed buddies. Jason clearly prefers the latter as he does everything in his power to drive women to the conclusion that nothing serious is going on. Assisting him in this cult of NSA (No Strings Attached, not the other one) is his pal and workmate Daniel (Miles Teller), a smartass who uses Jason's toilet whenever he gets the chance. The third member of these lovelorn Musketeers is Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) who is the most reasonable and the only married member of the trio.

When Mikey's perfect marriage falls apart, his friends are not only there to lift him up, but to vow relationship celibacy until he's back in the swing of things. (translation: dude, we're getting you laid until you forget the wife). The plan quickly hits an Olympic sized snag when Jason falls for the blonde bombshell in the making Ellie (Imogene Poots), who Jason falls for not once, but thrice. Crazy, I know. Before fellow lothario Daniel can scream that Jason's sold out to the love gods, he's finding himself straying into the land of commitment with Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis), the multi-talented type who always has a lot of guy friends, but never a boyfriend. Meanwhile, Mikey's diving back and forth between the past and peanut butter ice cream. Both are equally sticky, but they both have their moments.

While Miley is dropping her laundry, hair color, and Disney image, Efron has gradually outgrown his mouse past, but with far subtle and enjoyable outcomes. The "High School Musical" alum makes a huge step forward into grown up leading man in "That Awkward Moment." His adult chemistry with Teller and Jordan often match or exceed his onscreen magic with Poots, but it's actually what makes this rom-com for guys a bit more believable. Yes, it feels like a bizarro "Sex & The City," but pop culture references beat talk of Manolos to guys any day of the week. The term "yuppies" doesn't really apply to these guys, but it's sometimes a bit unnerving to see how there's not even a hair out of place between the three of them.

First time writer-director deserves for not only corralling a leading man in Efron, a future Oscar winner in Jordan, but also a rising star with enough scene stealing charm to make this a very lopsided film in Teller. Best of all Poots and Davis aren't just pretty set pieces, but are both attractive and amazing in the way they wrap the guys around their fingers.

Don't leave too early or you'll miss a very funny set of closing credits. You were warned.

"That Awkward Moment" MPAA: Rated R (for language, and sexual situations). Running time: 94 minutes.


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