That Awkward Moment
Romantic comedy is watchably bad rather than just plain awful
A romantic comedy from the perspective of three male friends has the potential to offer something new to the genre but despite one or two comedy highlights That Awkward Moment largely makes a mess of things.
Zac Efron, Michael B Jordan and Miles Teller star as the three friends in question, all of whom arrive at the point in their relationships where they have to decide where things are going. For Efron's Jason, this involves stepping up and being there for his new girlfriend Ellie (Imogen Poots), while for Jordan's Mikey it's deciding whether to try and get back with his wife who has been sleeping with her lawyer. Teller's Daniel, meanwhile, must decide whether to come clean with his friends over his serious relationship with Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis) and thereby give up his one night stands.
Tom Gormican's debut film takes its cues from the kind of male buddy dynamic exhibited in TV shows such as Friends and New Girl. But he also tries to lend it extra edge with crass humour of the Bridesmaids/Hangover variety. The ensuing mix feels awkward, especially as the characters themselves struggle to escape cliché. Efron and Poots share very little chemistry, rendering their story arcs uninteresting and predictable, while Jordan's role feels under-written. Teller, too, comes over more obnoxious than charismatic but his relationship with Davis' Chelsea does actually work - not least because in Davis the film boasts an eye-catching, breakthrough performance.
Coupled with the odd successful sight gag - such as Efron turning up at a party inappropriately dressed - That Awkward Moment is watchably bad rather than just plain awful.
General release from Wed 29 Jan.