Romantic comedies are a dime a dozen. “That Awkward Moment” sought to throw a curveball in the steady stream of one-track movies by offering a rarely seen perspective. Awkwardly enough, it hits all the old unsurprising nails we’ve seen before right on their heads.
Zac Effron finds himself as the point man in this comedy playing Jason, a bachelor taking advantage of his youth and the lively New York City single’s scene. Jason along with his wisecracking wingman Daniel (Miles Teller), hit the single bars every night hoping to get lucky, but never looking for anything past a one nightstand.
But when their friend Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) finds his once “perfect” relationship decaying into a game of lies and uncertainty, his best friends Jason and Daniel are there to pull him out of the funk he’s falling into. Together they make a pact to stay single and revive their old non-stop partying ways enjoyed before they had settled down into complacency. That promise disintegrates almost immediately when the trio find themselves just a step away from falling in love.
The methodic plot, devised by director and writer Tom Gormican (Movie 43), makes “That Awkward Moment” a struggle to get through without deciphering the next chunk of the plot minutes before it happens. Cheap jokes and cringe-worthy gags are showered across the film, which actually save it from sinking entirely during its more dreary stretches, stealing a chuckle and adding some mild amusement every now and then. But the crass layer of wit wears down into an overused crutch.
The biggest lesson the movie tries to push is: “Ladies, the grass isn’t any greener on the other side.” Relationships can be a nightmare for everybody. Unfortunately, it just proves these kinds of movies are just as lackluster, no matter what lens you’re peering through.
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