Movie Review: “That Awkward Moment”

   That Awkward Moment, other-wise known as Are We Officially Dating? in Australia and New Zealand, is a 2014 American romantic comedy film.The film was written and directed by Tom Gormican, making his directorial debut, and stars Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis, and Jessica Lucas.

   I didn’t really want to see this film, to tell you the truth. If you are wondering why I saw it, let alone why I actually went to theater to see it, it’s because I have a pathological love for films. That love isn’t susceptible to reason or logic, and merely remains as a constant. That, and the fact that my aunt wanted to see it.

   Like most romantic comedies, the film received negative reviews from critics, but received more optimism from audiences. The box-office results were likely a little lighter than what was expected, given Efron’s track-record, but it still managed to make more than five-times it’s budget.

   The film has an easygoing premise that won’t lose too many viewers. Basically, Zac Efron does the role of Jason, a stereotypical douche and seems more interested in meaningless sex than having a real relationship. Meanwhile, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan have their roles as well. Jordan fittingly does the role of Mikey, a married man that is struggling to come to grip with the fact that his marriage is deteriorated, whereas Teller plays Daniel, and finds himself falling for his ‘wingman’ Chelsea, who also has close-ties with the rest of the group.

   The film has a charming cast, and while it isn’t the popular consensus, I don’t hate Zac Efron as an actor. He doesn’t exactly have an in-depth resume, and in-fact, has been in more than a handful of bad films, however, for the most part, I don’t think that they were bad because of him. We hate him High-School Musical, but I don’t think it’s something that we can hold against him forever. I thought Efron’s performance was the best aspect of the film itself. He came off with a natural-looking arrogance and selfishness about him, elements that have since bled out into films like Neighbors.

   While I admit that the film has a capable cast, the fact is that they don’t capitalize on it very well at all. Plain and simple, That Awkward Moment doesn’t have a lot of humor in it. Everything that they do is hit and miss, with a vast majority of it being miss. The humor feels adolescent and immature without holding anything in the way of cleverness or wit, and more often than not, the jokes are laughably bad.

   The emotion feels absolutely forced and doesn’t feel organic. I’ll start with mentioning the relationship between Mikey and his wife. Everything that happens between them seems like I am meant to care about the conflict. I am meant to care about these two, but besides the initial ethical fact of wanting to see a couple stay together. I couldn’t care less. In-fact, even Daniel and Chelsea’s storyline feels underdeveloped and pointless.

    They wanted to have three ongoing relationships in this film, but the fact is, they didn’t make me care about a single one of them. The closest was the main-one, but if we could’ve have completely erased the other subplots and focused on them as well as the chemistry between all of them as friends, I think that it would have turned out much better. Although, Imogen Poots and Zac Efron don’t have very much chemistry with each other. The film attempts to make it seem like they do because of how they finish each others’ sentences, but it doesn’t come off well.

    In conclusion, That Awkward Moment squanders a likeable cast, spending too much time on bad humor and undeveloped sentiment. The film, while not unwatchable, definitely isn’t where should be, and fails at being anything more than a below-average film.

    Thanks for reading…

Rating: – Below Average

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