That Awkward Moment (2014)

dir. Tom Gormican

That Awkward Moment follows Jason (Zac Efron), a smug chronic bachelor who has his world turned upside-down when he meets his very own manic pixie dream girl, Ellie (Imogen Poots). It’s about as clichéd as every single other male-led rom-com in the world, except That Awkward Moment‘s desperation to distinguish itself is almost palpable. Yet its focus on boorish “comedy” and a confusingly sketched bro code only make it as typical as ever. Jason’s selfish, misogynistic behaviour throughout is echoed and entrenched by his two best friends, as the movie blithely surfs through their deceit, manipulation, and lack of humanity like they’re simply adorable character quirks. Pathetic gross-out humour lands flat as it largely hinges on characters blurting out swear words like giggling adolescents, and people spending an inordinate amount of time undressed for no reason at all (Miles Teller’s character seems especially, concerningly incapable of putting trousers on). That Awkward Moment ends precisely how one would expect, shamelessly declaring that for all its diatribes against romance, everyone’s storyline needs to end in coupledom after all. The entire film is an awkward moment that has the misfortune of lasting an hour and a half.

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