That Awkward Moment is one of those clichéd movies that feature a mechanical series of 3 scenes: the coffee talk between friends, the drunken bar scene and the rendezvous between boy and girl. There are definitely a handful of jaw-dropping hilarious scenes, but unfortunately those scenes and Miles Teller’s completely natural delivery of his specifically calculated dialogue isn’t enough to lift this raunchy comedy into memorable movie territory.
Written and directed by first-time director Tom Gormican, That Awkward Moment follows three best friends: commitment-phobe Jason (Zac Efron), silly yet wise Daniel (Miles Teller), and recent divorcee Mikey (Michael B. Jordan). When Mikey breaks the divorce news to his buds, the three all make a pact to remain single and commitment-free.
During their first single guys night out, Jason meets Ellie (Imogen Poots) and the two immediately hit it off, but Jason feels like he has to hide his romance from his buds. Meanwhile Daniel starts a fling with his best girl friend Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis) and Mikey is still continuing to hook up with his ex-wife Vera (Jessica Lucas).
The are two big problems with the film: our lead character Jason, despite the baby blue charms of Zac Efron, is not likable and the second is the random and clichéd plot devices used throughout the screenplay in order to keep the story moving. The few scenes where all three guys are hanging out have some hilarious dialogue, even though some of it feels forced, and there is one especially funny scene where Zac Efron’s character shows up to a party in an extremely risqué costume, but that plot point was given away in the red-band trailer. I was more interested in watching the guys interact than I was of the scenes with them and their love interests.
As much as I adore Zac Efron, the standout actor in the film is Miles Teller. Teller just has a natural charm for delivering this type of dialogue. And maybe he did improvise a few lines here and there, but the young actor has a flair for the troubled young adult (note The Spectacular Now, Rabbit Hole and Footloose). He’s good in every movie and I can’t wait to see his career progress into even more dramatic roles.
There’s no denying that Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan (hello Fruitvale Station!) have massive appeal and talent, but the handsome trio can’t lift this messy script and poor direction. What could have been a male-geared Sex and the City can barely qualify as a mediocre romantic comedy.