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“That Awkward Moment” when a Zac Efron movie was entertaining

"That Awkward Moment" opened this past weekend

"That Awkward Moment"


While not a tour de force in acting, directing, or writing by any stretch, “That Awkward Moment” somehow is able to capture your attention with its snappy dialogue, leaving you by the closing credits with a smile on your face, even if you would never admit that it was because of a Zac Efron movie. It is most definitely a commentary on just how shallow the millennial generation can be and features little depth but it does include clever one-liners throughout. Still, as a coming-of-age tale for three friends who are more handsome than any normal trio of dudes should be, it is nice to see a film about young twenty-somethings that are searching for themselves opposed to the constant barrage from Hollywood about 40-year-old men who smoke pot constantly while living in their parents’ basement before they finally grow up. This film is about three successful guys who are still stuck in their college-minded views of relationships, even while they all have successful jobs and their own apartments.
Surprisingly enough it hits Shakespearean chords in its plot line, reminiscent of the bard’s comedy “Love’s Labour’s Lost” in which three friends all agree to deny themselves the company of women, thus sealing their fates in comedic fashion as all three immediately fall in love thereafter. “That Awkward Moment” is a shallower, more modern update, featuring three men who wish to deny themselves relationship statuses while allowing themselves lots of company with many women. Still, as with Shakespeare’s tale, once these friends resolve to stay single, the very opposite occurs.
The characters are only skin deep and yet, even with their guy-like vulgarity towards women, they somehow are exceedingly likable. Miles Teller hands down steals the movie with his constantly flowing sarcasm, keeping his character light, relateable, and likable. Michael B. Jordan could have been good save for the fact that his character was a sad pile of mush. We all can relate to a character going through a breakup if not a divorce but that does not mean we want to watch it for 90 minutes, especially when the wife he wants to get back with is a cheating hag of a woman. And Zac Efron, oh so dreamy Zac Efron, is, frankly, a word too vulgar for this article throughout the entire film up until the last five minutes. Imogen Poots is way too good for him, portraying a girl-next-door type who is the sweetest character on the screen.
The biggest flaw of the film though is the writing. The sharp dialogue buoys this potentially sinking ship but much of the movie, especially those parts centered on the whole pickup scene of the bar world, are flat out contrived moments of ridiculousness. Some of the lines used as well as the reaction by the women they are used on are farcical in how over-the-top they are at times. The movie was a study in cliché as the main character (Efron) realizes the girl of his dreams is suddenly there and matures him from an overgrown man-child overnight. Still, even if lacking in originality and surprise, this film still is able to entertain. Not overly long at a tight 94 minutes, it never gets too boring or bogged down. By no means is this movie high art, in fact it's right on the border of being okay, but if you are a fan of the genre then you have most definitely seen much, much worse.