That Awkward Moment, also known as Are We Officially Dating, stars Zac Efron in the role of Jason, a 20-something-year-old New Yorker who loves sex, girls, drinking and, well, more sex. By juggling multiple girls at once, what he distastefully calls his “roster”, he and his best friend Daniel (Miles Teller) manage to have short-lived relationships without actually officially dating anyone. But, when their third amigo Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) announces his wife is divorcing him, Jason and Daniel vow to help Mikey start his own roster and the three friends make a pact to stay single together. Alas, like all predictable rom-coms, this gets complicated when Ellie (Im0gen Poots) comes into the picture and Jason starts to fall for her, whether he likes it or not.
That Awkward Moment is just that: awkward. It fails on both the rom and the com fronts of a romantic comedy, while the more undesirable elements of the genre – the predictability and the cliche climax – remain. While you’d expect the vast majority of this film’s audience to be female, writer and director Tom Gormican attempts to reach out to those poor boyfriends and husbands begrudgingly dragged along to the Valentines Day screening with rather blokeish humour (penis jokes abound!). Unfortunately, this falls flat, resulting in juvenile and often crude comedy that is just plain un-funny, not to mention a little degrading to women. Silencing my inner angry feminist for one second and embracing my swooning girly side, as a romance the movie still doesn’t deliver. The supposedly “romantic” moments are poorly scripted and, to be honest, just aren’t sappy enough! If I’m going to spend two hours watching a boy-meets-girl story, I want to be reaching for the tissue box, or at least feel the slightest bit moved by what’s playing out in front of me. Instead I found myself not caring whether the main characters got together in the end. In fact, I was rooting for the opposite to happen.
Hollywood heartthrob Zac Efron is no stranger to the role of romantic lead and while he can be a really terrific actor, the character of Jason doesn’t sit well on him. He’s more of an anti-hero, a man with a generally unlikable demeanor and little character development, to which Efron doesn’t bring anything particularly redeeming other than some overtly brooding looks and a rugged, stubbly attractiveness. Similarly, Imogen Poots has been wowing audiences lately with her beauty and on-screen talent (check her out in A Late Quartet), but the character of Ellie turned her into a doe-eyed, love interest stereotype with no depth.
Lacking humour, substance or any of the magic a romantic comedy is supposed to provide, I would say watch this movie only if its storming outside and you literally have nothing, and I mean nothing, else to do. But, if you have to feed your cat or cut your toenails or pick some fluff out of your belly button, I honestly think those would be far better ways to spend your time.