Saturday, February 1, 2014

That Awkward Moment (2014)

I don't have a ton to say about That Awkward Moment, so this may be one of the shortest reviews I've ever put out there.

It's not that I found That Awkward Moment particularly awful, but there's no plot, no real setup, and nothing happens.  The catalyst for the current situation is that Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) comes home, finds that his wife has been cheating on him and wants a divorce.  He seeks the solace of his buddies, Jason (Zac Efron) and Daniel (Miles Teller), who are living the single life.  They want to get Mikey back out there, but all vow that none of them will get into a relationship, which is just fine for Jason and Daniel, as neither one of them has any interest in that.  So how long before all of these guys find themselves in complicated relationships?

From that point, That Awkward Moment isn't much more than a mashup of buddy and romantic comedy cliches.  Again, it's not that it's terrible, but there's nothing original about it.  It really drags along as you wait for something, anything, to happen.

When you add that it's not particularly funny, it makes it that much harder to get through.  Even the one part of the film where you can tell they were going for the the big, funny event is all based on a misunderstanding that's taken to a ridiculous extreme.  It's one of the few "awkward moments" in the film.  Another one involving everyone walking into the same bathroom at the same time was so contrived that lost any believability.  What are the odds that three guys happen to walk into the same bathroom at a fancy house party at the same time?  Two of them had only arrived at the party just moments before.  Plus, nobody seemed to be interested in locking the bathroom door.  That will tend to lead to more awkward moments.  You could credit one of the characters for actually pointing the lack of door locking out, but a line of dialog doesn't explain how four different people committed the same behavior within a minute.

Tom Gormican's script, (he also directed), is very underwritten.  It's a shame, as the leads are all fairly charming and have good chemistry together.  I can't really fault any of the actors, as they did the best with the material.  There's just not a lot to their characters to really identify with, and nothing particularly distinctive about any of them.  They can pretty much be broken up into the following:

  • Funny guy that nobody takes seriously.  He's the first to get into a serious relationship.
  • Guy that's still trying to reconcile his previous relationship.  He can't get involved with anyone else until then.
  • Consummate player that's so afraid of commitment, that he doesn't recognize the good thing in front of him.

I'll let you guess who's who. Without even seeing the film, I bet you get them all correct.  Outside of some throwaway line about going to college together, we don't even know anything about how they met, or how long they've known each other.

It's interesting that two of the female characters had a lot more going on than the guys. Ellie (Imogen Poots) is an author that's getting a book published, and Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis) is a musician, but neither of these are explored with any kind of depth.  Chelsea also acts as the guy's perfect wingman, and appears to have been friends with them for a while, but their relationship is never really defined beyond that.  Was she related to one of them?  Was she also someone they knew from college?

That Awkward Moment is a collection of cliches you've seen in other films, lacking any creativity or a needed infusion of humor.  However, its biggest sin is that it's boring.  If you happened to catch it on cable or rented it for a buck, you might not think it was that terrible, but I can't recommend anyone going out to the theater and seeing it.  Don't waste your time and money.

2 (out of 5) Death Stars

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