You’d probably expect this to be a movie about a few awkward 20-something guys, or maybe they would be getting into a bunch of awkward situations while trying to find love… but none of that really happens here. That Awkward Moment is about three friends, Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B Jordan, as they each find themselves in that awkward and confusing moment, wondering where their relationships are going.
Although the three men work well together, the script is too weak for the fun movie it hopes to be. Sure, the men have to figure out how to pee with boners and Efron thinks the girl he slept with is a hooker, but all of the biggest laughs are crass, and over quickly. They’re funny in the moment, but easily forgettable. There’s a place for those in comedies, certainly, but since this was aiming to be a date night movie, it missed its mark.
What I can’t figure out, is whether it wants to fit into the romantic comedy genre or take apart the usual conventions. We rarely get such a focus on the men’s point of view in this genre, though it can certainly be an interesting interpretation (ex: 500 Days of Summer). Since women are the main audience, but this isn’t the antidote to sugary-sweet love stories we’ve been looking for. Who is the audience of TWM? The humour suggests young men, but the relationships and occasional sweetness lead me to expect the typical female rom-com viewer, but TWM failed to achieve this combination.
Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an awful movie. Overall, it was watchable… I just wouldn’t choose to watch it again. The romantic comedy genre has been in a state of flux for the past few years, and we no longer see the formula from the 2000’s popping up every few weeks. But that doesn’t mean a new standard hasn’t been set. Now, they’re all looking at the best way to subvert the conventions of the 2000’s, and this one just didn’t succeed at that goal.
That Awkward Moment is on Netflix Canada.