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That Awkward Moment– Movie Review

Submitted by on January 31, 2014 – 2:54 pmNo Comment

That Awkward Moment is, ironically, a shining example of the misogynistic, materialistic, romanticized culture that it claims to criticize- but it is also pretty funny. The world would be better off if people understood not to look to a Zac Efron movie for cues on how either gender should live self-respecting, fulfilling lives. If you can get over that, Moment is a generally enjoyable date/bromance movie.

Jason (Efron), Daniel (Miles Teller), and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) are long-time best friends, now living in Manhattan and dealing with the titular relationship problem: whether or not to move forward. Jason meets a girl at a bar, Daniel falls for his friend Chelsea, and Mikey wonders if his estranged wife is serious as their relationship reignites. After pledging to stay single, the three are supposed to avoid falling in love at all costs, but… well, you can guess how that goes.

One of the most irritating things about Moment is how completely it takes place in the “Romantic Comedy Universe”: an imaginary five block stretch of Lower Manhattan where everyone is under 30, wealthy, and gorgeous, has an amazing job that never demands their time, lives alone in a trendily-decorated loft apartment, spends every minute at a bar or cafe, and jumps into bed at the drop of the hat. Daniel and Jason’s straight-faced discussions of “rosters” definitely further undercuts the message that there is more to them than superficial stuff. The female characters who enable them are no better- but remember, this is all fantasy.

Jordan has to carry much of the film as its emotional center. The disintegration of his marriage oddly (intentionally?) highlights how shallow the rest of the story is. Similarly, his repeated statements that Daniel and Jason are morons becomes more than just empty dialogue- he’s often the only person cutting through their nonsense dating rules, and asking them just to do the right thing.

But despite the unrealistic setting and questionable characterizations, the bro-ish banter and raunchy sight gags honestly keep the laughs going throughout. Efron and Teller simultaneously lying down on toilets to pee with erections? Unexpected, and well-executed. A creepy sex shop clerk? Hilariously earnest and deadpan. A running gag about Mikey’s penis turning orange from self-tanner? Surprisingly long-lived. Mikey jerking off to a girl’s phone number written on a coaster? Sad, funny, and disarmingly honest. The guys have chemistry, and it keeps the film moving.

Did you see That Awkward Moment? What did you think?

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