Saturday 6 June 2020

Movie Review: That Awkward Moment (2014)

A raunchy romantic comedy, That Awkward Moment follows three guys on the relationship rollercoaster. Despite a bright cast, the film sputters.

In New York City, Mike (Michael B. Jordan), Daniel (Miles Teller) and Jason (Zac Efron) are twentysomething best buddies. Daniel and Jason are book cover artists and enjoy commitment-free relationships with women, while Mike is a doctor who seemingly has it all. But his marriage to Vera (Jessica Lucas) suddenly disintegrates when she confesses to an affair and demands a divorce. 

In solidarity Daniel and Jason commit to refraining from entering any serious relationships but both are soon falling in love. Jason meets author Ellie (Imogen Poots) and after a rocky start they evolve into a couple, while Daniel develops feelings for Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis) who is supposed to be just a friend with benefits. Meanwhile Mike is desperately trying to repair his marriage to Vera.

Featuring a talent-rich cast, That Awkward Moment fails to provide material to match. Director Tom Gormican also wrote the script, and he is firmly stuck in bathroom-level humour where body parts and body functions have to be part of every joke. Some of the humour works and a few laughs are generated, but the overdose of repetitive profanity, bro-level ribbing, insults hurled at the end of every sentence and pure immature behaviour is quickly more tiresome than funny.

The title refers to the pivot point in a potential relationship when a woman wants to know what the future holds, a moment of doom for commitment phobes like Jason and Daniel. But here all the romance elements are contrived, and it remains a mystery why women such as Ellie and Chelsea would ever fall for a couple of douchebags like Jason and Daniel, who luxuriate in their aversion to genuine caring.

The sex scenes are plentiful but short and played for giggles, and at least That Awkward Moment aims for equal representation of coupling as a tool useful for both genders to spice up the single life.

The film clocks in at 94 minutes but feels longer. All the expected relationship ups and downs due to miscommunication and mismatched expectations are triplicated, but three times tedious is still tedious.

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