That Awkward Moment
Directed by Tom Gormican
Starring: Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Imogen Poots
Rated R for strong language, nudity and sexual content
1 hr 34 min.

Romantic comedies are nothing new. Bromantic comedies, as they have become known, are somewhat newer but still follow the same rules as their “sister movies.” Like a sensible car with a fresh set of rims, however, That Awkward Moment does nothing more than put a slick spin on a proven and functional concept.

Jason (Zac Efron) is a young, hip professional in New York City who uses his roster of women to fill the sexy time in between work, sleep and carousing with his two college buddies, who are also young, hip professionals in New York City: Daniel (Miles Teller), a playfully sardonic, fellow book-cover designer who works with Jason at a publishing agency; and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan), a by-the-book, fresh-out-of-med-school doctor with a gorgeous wife and a promising career. But all is not well in Bro-ville as Mikey divulges to his friends that his wife has been cheating on him and wants a divorce. Jason and Daniel decide that the only solution for this problem is to take their friend out and get him some action. And by action, they mean lady action. And so, armed with witty quips, stylish clothes and lifestyles that lend themselves to copious amounts of expendable income for guys in their mid-20s, they head out into the dating world, all vowing to stay single and to go through the ranks of like-minded single women in New York as quickly and callously as they can.

Of course there are a few detours along the bumpy road of no-strings-attached sex. Daniel falls for his ultimate wing woman, Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis), and Mikey tries desperately to mend fences with his unfaithful wife, Vera (Jessica Lucas). Jason falls hardest of all for free-spirited author Ellie (Imogen Poots), who forces him to question the validity of his hedonistic lifestyle, a lifestyle he clings to even though it threatens not only the well-being of his friends, but his own happiness as well.

Writer/director Tom Gormican (whose only other notable credit is for being one of many producers of the disastrous cinematic bowel movement that was 2013’s Movie 43) did pen a somewhat decent script, and when the jokes are tucked into dialog between the three leads they are on-point and rather funny. Unfortunately, most of the other attempts are either flat-out terrible (the Viagra/urination joke seen in the trailer for this film) or seemingly dropped in for shock value (every other joke seen in the trailer for this film), which is sad, because the performances from the five main cast members are disarmingly candid and charming. Even Jason, an unapologetic womanizer, comes off as harmless and playful, allowing the audience to root for a character that is only able to attempt redemption after a series of extremely poor life choices forces him to deal with the fact that he is a selfish jackass.

Unlike the films that clearly inspired it (The Forty-Year Old Virgin and American Pie) That Awkward Moment has trouble seamlessly combining its sincere moments with its offbeat hilarity for an enjoyable event. The movie is not breaking any new ground, but if you are looking for the motion picture equivalent of eating a pack of Twinkies, this is the movie to take a date to. It will make you feel good for a moment, and while it is mostly harmless, it has no real lasting value.

Ian Murphy is a recent addition to the VCReporter freelance roster. He enjoys sharing his opinion on and with whoever sits next to him at the bar.