'That Awkward Moment' has too many awkward movie moments

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comJanuary 30, 2014 

Film Review That Awkward Moment

This image released by shows Miles Teller, from left, Michael B. Jordan and Zac Efron in a scene from "That Awkward Moment." (AP Photo/Focus Features, Nicole Rivelli)


That Awkward Moment -- as defined by this movie -- is the place where one of two single people approach the topic of taking their regular encounters to a relationship level. The movie says it's usually the woman pushing the point and it's there the guy panics, turns tail and runs.

The three main characters are pals Jason, Daniel and Mikey performed by Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan. When Mikey's wife dumps him, he and the single Jason and Daniel pledge to bag relationships and hang together. The three immediately and secretly break the vow. Jordan's Mikey has lots of sex with his soon-to-be-ex, Efron's Jason finds the first woman he's ever really liked and Teller's Daniel connects with his best female friend.

Two very charismatic young actresses Imogen Poots and Mackenzie Davis play love interests. They're much more interesting than the wooden Efron and Jordan (Fruitvale Station) and the always over-the-top Teller (21 and Over, The Spectacular Now).

Rom-coms like That Awkward Moment are formula. They go from A to B to C. No surprises. It's how you get from A to C that determines whether the movie is worth your time.

First-time writer/director Tom Gormican does a pretty good job writing dialogue for already-beat-to-death 20-something characters in relationship crisis. It's snappy, sometimes fun and even creative in places. What the dialogue -- and ultimately the movie -- does not do is add anything to 20-something relationship movies.

A gets to B as you expect, and by the predictable alphabetic ending C, you've seen all you want to see. That Awkward Moment ultimately has too many awkward movie moments.

Director: Tom Gormican

Stars: Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis

Mr. Movie rating: 2 1/2 stars

Rated R for language, mature themes, sex. It's playing at the Carmike 10, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

-- www.tri-cityherald.com/arts/mrmovie.

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