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‘So … where is this going?’: That Awkward Moment review

Senior News Editor

Published: Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Updated: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 16:02

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Courtesy of Focus Features

Film: That Awkward Moment

Release Date: Jan. 31

Studio: Treehouse Pictures

Grade: D+

Some movies are meant to be comedies. Others are meant to be tearjerkers. That Awkward Moment tries desperately to be both, but ultimately fails on both counts.

Zac Efron (Paperboy) stars in this romantic-comedy-type film as Jason, a 20-something afraid to take that next step in a relationship. After Mikey, one of his two best friends (Michael B. Jordan, Fruitvale Station), gets divorced, Jason and Daniel (Miles Teller, The Spectacular Now) make a pact to stay single together while still expanding their “rosters,” or the list of women they are currently sleeping with. But in the midst of their sexual escapades, all three slowly begin to realize that maybe the single life isn’t for them.

The film begins with a girl asking Jason, “So … where is this going?” Ironically, as the movie progresses, the audience finds itself similarly uncertain about the film’s direction.

Advertised as a rom-com for guys, the film never finds the balance between the two genres, which leaves the audience confused and frustrated. It transcends the label of cliché and enters the realm of blatant predictability.

In his directorial and screenwriting debut, Tom Gormican tries to explore the idea that a man can also be the emotional one in a relationship. But in his attempt to tap into the mind of the ‘typical’ single man, he manages to characterize women as two-dimensional, oftentimes making assumptions about the opposite sex that can only be described as inaccurate and short-sided.

The film is rated R for no discernable reason – other than the occasional gratuitous sex scene and a comedic bit involving an obnoxiously large sex toy.

Although the plot was disjointed and unclear, the movie does have its comedic moments. Teller steals the show with his fast-talking, sarcastic dialogue. The three actors, at times, have pointless but funny banter that seems natural and genuine, which makes the film watchable and, in brief moments, entertaining.

Jason and Daniel work as book cover designers, an obvious attempt to play on the cliché “don’t judge a book by its cover.” But Gormican doesn’t do much to refute the fact that the two exist mainly on the surface – the changes the characters undergo throughout the movie do not overshadow the people they were before.

Teller and Jordan have proved themselves as talented actors this past year in The Spectacular Now and Fruitvale Station,respectively. But Efron has been searching for a film to overshadow his High School Musical days.

If he keeps choosing films like That Awkward Moment,that title may be reused years from now as a name for his memoir.

 

email: arts@ubspectrum.com

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