There’s something awkward happening in theaters this weekend — and it’s all Zac Efron’s fault.
The “High School Musical” star joins up-and-coming actors Michael B. Jordan (“Fruitvale Station”) and Miles Teller (“The Spectacular Now”) in “That Awkward Moment,” writer-director Tom Gormican’s directorial debut. The raunchy, R-rated comedy follows three young, single men and their dating escapades in New York City. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, based on a cursory glance at RottenTomatoes.com, but certain critics have found a lot to love in the midst of the awkwardness.
Read on for a round-up of “That Awkward Moment” reviews!
“Jason (Efron) and Daniel (Teller) are a pair of lovable, womanizing jerks living a life of one-night-stands and booty calls in Manhattan, until their best bud Mike (Jordan) is suddenly thrust back into the dating scene when his wife (Jessica Lucas) reveals she’s been cheating on him with a guy who looks like Morris Chestnut. Why Morris Chestnut? Because all the ladies love him, and so does writer/director Tom Gormican who labors to turn his name into one of the film’s many attempted catch phrases. With all three back out there, they make a promise to stay single and enjoy just being dudes and building their ‘roster’ of women to score with until the inevitable question ‘So… what are we doing here?’ comes up. Then it’s time to kick them to the curb and move on. Chivalrous gentlemen they aren’t; underneath their fashion mag outfits and breezy responsibility-free existence is a bunch of sexist pigs. … Of course, it’s just as they make this pact of bachelorhood that that the perfect women enter their lives.” — Travis Hopson, Examiner.com
“Zac Efron’s charming as the lead and has matured into an actor capable of actually being the headliner of a feature film not aimed at teen girls. Miles Teller is on the verge of hitting it big and although his lines in this are not exactly award-worthy material, he delivers them with so much conviction that you believe everything he’s saying (even when it’s just chatter about extended erections and the inability to urinate in a standing position). Michael B. Jordan was outstanding in 2013′s critically acclaimed indie drama ‘Fruitvale Station’ and in ‘That Awkward Moment’ he shows off his lighter side (as well as muscular abs and killer smile).” — Rebecca Murray, About Movies
“For a raunchy R-rated comedy, Gormican’s debut is surprisingly sophisticated at times, and he even manages to achieve a certain level of John Hughes circa ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ by the end. Sure, maybe the blooper reel end credits are unnecessary after that, but the movie does know how to deliver on the laughs while still being true to its primary M.O. and that’s sometimes hard to do.” — Edward Douglas, ComingSoon.net
The Bad News
“‘That Awkward Moment’ turns out to be unfortunately aptly named, not for mining a rich vein of social and romantic anthropology, as the filmmakers obviously intended to do, but for so clunkily stringing together callow, predictable scenes from rom-coms past.” — Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post
The Final Word
“‘That Awkward Moment’ is an entertaining movie that, despite some big flaws – especially near the finish – does the hard work of showing two relationships originating and growing. It’s an attempt to tell a modern story about how love is done in 2014, and though it ultimately leans too much on genre cliche, it reveals some of the tensions that today’s young adults experience in their romantic lives – the impersonality of hook-up culture in collision with the human desire and need for intimacy.” — Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Gate
“That Awkward Moment” is in theaters now.