"That Awkward Moment" Review- Craig's First Take

Photo Credit: © 2013 - Focus Features

Fruitvale Station's Michael B. Jordan said in an interview this week that he wanted to do a comedy because he was "tired of dying." Oh, apparently he’s never talked to or been a comedian after a particularly brutal set. There are still so many ways to die in a comedy, as he and his co-stars Zac Efron and Miles Teller will learn this weekend as "That Awkward Moment" is made available for public consumption.

It’s billed as a comedy that wants to tell us exactly what guys are thinking, now if only the people in this movie seemed to be doing anything that resembles thinking we would be in business.

It centers on best friends Jason (Efron), who just broke up with his girlfriend cause he had no idea they were even dating, Michael (Jordan), whose wife just spontaneously asked for a divorce, and Daniel (Teller), Jason’s roommate and co-worker at a book publishing company. They all make a pact to remain single for as long as possible, which gives them ample time to talk about nothing other than blow-jobs, erections, video games, the rosters of hot women who they use for sex and then throw away, and why committing to pacts with your moron friends is better than committing to an actual woman.

They will of course be tested. Jason, the biggest moron of them all, makes an assumption that the girl (Imogen Poots) he just slept with is a hooker only later to discover she’s actually an author. Where explaining something like this might get a guy punched in the face, the girl doesn’t seem to care so much because she’s part of this idiot plot. They begin a sorta-relationship although you wonder why she bothers- Jason goes back and forth between kinda liking this girl and being a complete asshole (at one point, later on, he refuses to go to her father’s funeral because that would mean he’s committing to her)- maybe it’s because they’re like the last two people in the book publishing business and need a shoulder to cry on.

Meanwhile Michael’s ex-wife (Jessica Lucas) has taken ill and she can think of no other doctor to go to other than him. Rather than diagnosing her as a bitch, he instead tries to get back together with her. And Daniel’s temptation comes from Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis), who usually acts as wing-woman for him when he goes out to bars.

The jokes suck here. Michael complains that his lawyer looks like Morris Chestnut. When one character uses self-tanner on his dick, he says it looks like “the thing on The Price’s Right wheel”. When one person uses a Judge Reinhold reference, I wondered if this movie had any idea what audience it was trying to reach- 20-somethings today or 20-somethings back in the late 80’s/early 90’s? Plus this is another comedy where people burst through the door to find sex happening or humiliate themselves in several other ways that are usually the sign of a desperate screenplay.

But more than anything, nothing in this movie feels authenthic. During another self-tanning joke involving Michael, he just stands there naked in front of his friends while they throw lame insults at him. It’s pretty indicative of the entire movie. You don’t believe it, you don’t laugh at it, you don’t like anyone involved with it, and above all you just want these guys to finally shut the hell up.