That Awkward Moment – Zac Efron Grows Up? – Review

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Photo Courtesy Focus Features

The real awkward moment is when you realize you aren’t laughing.  Then, it gets even more awkward when the movie gets all emotional, and you realize you don’t care about any of these characters.

Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan star as Jason, Daniel and Mikey – three NYC dudes trying to figure out life and love, but spending more time chasing the ladies and extracurricular activities than wooing and romancing the future Miss Right.  They are more interested in Miss Right Now.

Mikey ended up reuniting with these friends because his wife has informed him that she wants a divorce, so consummate players (playas?) Jason and Daniel have made a pledge to remain single and help Mikey enjoy prowling for ladies just like they do.

Of course, all three have someone in their sights who seems too special to occupy the role of one night stand, so we have to wonder if they will choose loyalty to the pledge, or moving forward with the woman of their dreams.

You can feel writer/director Tom Gormican thinks his movie tears the mask off of romantic relationships with “frankness” about how men really feel and think, but it would have more impact if those men in the movie really did feel and think.  Just watch Swingers again if you want to see a movie about friends dealing with relationships.  Gormican gives us a script that pales in comparison because it is full of forced, unnatural dialogue.  No one talks and acts like this!

All of the characters seem to be going through the motions, while Gormican desperately tries to “make it real” by tossing in as much R-rated material as he can, but it’s not real.  It’s just a bunch of R-rated material forced in to make the movie appear to be edgy and groundbreaking.  He should have focused more on the characters, or giving us more crazy and funny moments, but neither direction is chosen.

Efron and Teller are charming enough, and make you think these characters would have been played by Bill Murray and Chevy Chase 35 years ago, because the situations and themes allegedly broached here are everlasting, not new and exciting and fresh.  Each generation just thinks they have discovered it for the first time.

Worst of all, the three don’t have great chemistry together.  Teller and Efron seem to work well together (and might be too much like carbon copies), but Jordan never gels with either one of them solo or when in a group setting with both.  I don’t blame the actors.  It’s the writing that is flat when Mikey is around.   He is almost too grown up for these guys and never shows the shock he should be feeling about the situation.

That Awkward Moment needed some funnier moments.

1waffles_sml1 Waffle (Out of 4)

That Awkward Moment is rated R for sexual content and language throughout.    

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