THAT AWKWARD MOMENT Movie Review
The romantic comedy film genre is having a rough patch. We had the bland days of Kate Hudson rom-coms behind us, but now we’re in this phase of trying to turn rom-coms into something you can watch with your douchebag male friends. It’s the bro-ificiation of the chick flick and it works so rarely. 500 Days of Summer and Going The Distance are the only ones that have been able to successfully pull it off.
The latest stab at the bro-rom-com is That Awkward Moment starring Zac Efon, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller. They’re all single for the first time in years and make a pact to work on building their “rosters” (defined as a list of steady booty calls and hook ups to rotate through throughout the week) instead of getting in serious relationships. Of course, this means all of them end up hooking up with their perfect girl almost instantly.
At the heart of the film is Zac Efron’s Jason who has never had a serious relationship in his life. His first meeting with Ellie (Imogen Poots) is cute and snarky enough, but of course it can’t lead anywhere because of his pact with his bros (not because he’s an emotionally stunted man-boy or anything). Meanwhile, Michael B. Jordan’s Mikey in the middle of a divorce from his cheating wife, but at the same time is hooking up with her. And Miles Teller plays a fast-talking, smart aleck similar to his roles in 21 & Over and even The Spectacular Now
who hides a relationship with his go-to wing-woman turned girlfriend. And yet, their characters are infinitely more likable than Jason which makes it all the more frustrating that he’s at the center of this film. They have redeemable qualities that are easily apparent and they only shine brighter as they dive further in to their relationships, but Jason high-tails it as soon as things start to get serious, including ditching his almost girlfriend’s father’s funeral. Sorry, but that’s taking his irresponsibility a step too far for me and makes his redemption hollow. As much as I like looking at Zac Efron, even he can’t save a wholly unlikable character. The likable characters don’t get enough screen time in favor of Jason’s frat boy antics and his turn around is just too little, too late.