“That Awkward Moment,” starring Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller, is one of a new breed of films: the bromantic-comedy. It follows three male friends through the rollercoaster of transitioning from being single to being in a complex relationship. While it is funny and touching at times, it is made for a male audience who, because of its romantic-comedy format, are not coming to the theater.
While the three characters are good friends, they are all fairly different. As Jason (Efron) and Daniel (Teller) continue to casually date women, Mikey (Jordan) watches as his marriage crumbles after finding out his wife has been cheating on him. Much of the movie follows Mikey fighting the feelings of love for his wife with being pushed to move on. Daniel, the classic bachelor who will tell women anything, begins to fall for his “wing woman,” but is frightened to admit to Jason and Mikey that he is committing to a relationship. Then there is Jason, the focus of the movie, one moment being a complete jerk, then another making a sweet and meaningful gesture towards his love interest, Ellie (Imogen Poots).
The movie tries a bit too hard with crude humor and excessive amounts of swearing; however, the latter pales in comparison to “The Wolf of Wall Street.” “That Awkward Moment” slowly becomes deeper, more like its root genre, and by the last scenes is worthy of a Meg Ryan “chick-flick.”
An appropriate metaphor for the film appears several times, as a topic with some controversy: scotch and ice cream. Jason and Daniel mock Mikey for wanting to wallow in his failed relationship and a carton of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Peanut Buttery Swirl. But as the story moves on, the other two begin to balance the need for scotch and the attraction of ice cream for mending a broken heart.
The characters seem to put on an emotionally impenetrable mask for their friends and another to compensate for their lack of emotions when talking to women, which makes women wonder, “Is this really what men talk about?”
It is similar to recent movies such as “The Ugly Truth,” starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler, which also leans toward a male perspective in the world of dating, but unlike its counterparts, is solely focused on men.
The Efron film is set in New York City and able to capture the feeling of both the up-and-coming professional’s New York and the luxurious lives of the successful, coveted by the young, which, as pointed out by Imogen Poots’ character, is the attraction of the city.
Although the storyline is quite predictable, the actors deliver their parts well enough, but despite leaving audiences smiling as they walk out, one major flaw remains: it is made for an audience that, apart from date night, will never see it.