Director: Tom Gormican
Starring: Zac Effron, Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller and Imogen Poots
Running Time: 94 minutes
Release Date: 31st January
Everyone knows that the expectations with which you enter a movie theatre greatly influence how much you enjoy the film. So you can imagine my surprise when, after an all-too-quick glance at IMBD, I thought I was going to see a new Zach Braff comedy, which turned out in fact to be Zac Efron’s latest venture (too many ‘Z’s and ‘F’s). My hopes for a quirky, off-beat indie comedy quickly melted, replaced with the sugary gloop I expected from the teen heart-throb of High School Musical fame. Would I need an emergency trip to the dentist after a dose of sickening sweetness, or would Efron break with expectation?
That Awkward Moment is part of a new film genre with the fun title ‘bro-mantic comedy’. Three friends live in the movie-version of New York city; a fantasy world where all 20-somethings have successful careers and can afford spacious Manhattan apartments. Jason (Zac Efron), Daniel (Miles Teller of 21 and Under) and Mike (Michael B. Jordan) traverse the dating scene of New York City as brothers in arms. Previously the classic high school movie plot between male friends has been to lose their virginity before graduation. In That Awkward Moment, this pact has evolved to avoid relationships at all costs. The film’s title refers to the awkward moment when a girl asks “so where is this going?” to a boy who has been unaware they were even dating. This world of treading relationship water is governed by a series of rules. Like having a “sex roster” and keeping girls in rotation (which is oddly referred to as a “cock spa – because it’ll rejuvenate your soul!”) and if you go to a funeral with someone you’re sleeping with, it means you’re officially in a relationship. Everything is going along swimmingly until some girls come along to ruin their fun. Will the sacred pact of ‘bros before hoes’ prevail?
Horrible clichés about desperate women and man-whores aside, this is a fun movie. It makes a refreshing change from the usual rom-com where comedy is crammed into the first 20 minutes before the eventual disintegration into fluffy romantic drama. That Akward Moment keeps the laughs coming all the way to the end and isn’t afraid to make jokes at its own expense; like when attempts at grand romantic gestures fail miserably. Its portrayal of the modern dating scene may be exaggerated at times, but some observations are right on the money. Certainly the heartbreak of an ex updating their relationship status is a 21st century phenomenon. Miles Teller, with his dry, monotone delivery, is an emerging star on the comedy circuit, while Zac Efron isn’t as annoying as you’d imagine.
Although, perhaps I only found this film funny because my hopes of seeing a Zach Braff movie had been crushed and expectations were at a low. You’ll have to go along for yourself to find out – it’s a surprisingly perfect date night movie.