That Awkward Moment: “R” (1 hour, 34 minutes)
Starring: Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Imogen Poots, Michael B. Jordan, Jessica Lucas
Directed by: Tom Gormican
Let’s make no mistake about this, this is a 20something guy film (yeah, the lead is Zac Efron, and the girls will all go ga-ga over him, but given the context of the film itself, it really is a guy film ) where three guys spend the entire film referring to each other as f#ckin’ A-holes, shagging girls, and “building a bench” (that is to say a group of girls that they can bone in rotation so none of the girls can say that the pair are “dating.” In fact as the film opens up, Jason (Efron) is confused because he has just gotten the big “So…” (“So…where is this relationship going?”) from the girl he has been tapping for the past six weeks, and he is really confused because he didn’t realize that they had a relationship (or were even dating). Shortly after this, his buddy Mikey (Jordan) just got the Bozack from his wife (who is apparently banging her lawyer who apparently looks like Morris Chestnut). So Jason, Mikey, and Daniel (Teller) make a pact to not change relationship status until they are all 30.
Needless to say, that pact almost immediately goes out the window as each of them wind up hooking up with a steady girl. Jason with Ellie (Poots), Daniel with Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis) — a work buddy, and fellow barfly and wingman/ flirt, while Mikey tries to hook up with his Soon-to-be-Ex-wife, Vera (Lucas). None of the guys tell any of the other guys what they are doping, but do spend a good deal of time mocking each other because they a) have feelings, b) like girls, c) because it is fun. Their glib, mocking banter rolls trippingly off their tongues so well you just know that no matter how organic it sounds, that they had actual writers penning their bon-mots for them.
Still, hiding within all of this smooth, fluent machismo banter there are some powerfully important gems that are there to be had, including perhaps one of the most importantly profound pearl of wisdom that this writer has heard in many a day. Is the line “Being there for someone when they need you is all a relationship is.” Which is — given the lightheartedness of the film itself — is profound beyond belief. Yeah, That Awkward Moment is a silly, goofy, mostly disposable film, but it is also funny, endearing, and completely genuine, and deserves to be watched. (We will add, that yes, Jordan was recently in Fruitvale Station but we best remember him as a high school student in Chronicle and Teller as a high school student in 21 & Over, Project X and The Spectacular Now, so buying them both as college graduates and old enough to be married was something of a shock for us.) Still that in no way prevented us from thoroughly enjoying this film.
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.