That Awkward Moment (2014) Flash Review

That Awkward Moment
Director: Tom Gormican
Starring: Zac Efron; Michael B. Jordan; Miles Teller; Imogen Poots; Mackenzie Davis.
Plot: Three best friends find themselves where we’ve all been – at that confusing moment in every dating relationship when you have to decide “So… where is this going?”

To write about how That Awkward Moment is a ‘buddy movie’ would perhaps be doing this film a disservice, for Tom Gormican’s writing and direction went beyond the limited formula of such a sub-genre to offer something more than just fart jokes and sexist agendas.

On the surface, That Awkward Moment is a movie about three men chasing women with the intention of never getting serious with them. But, underneath the advertising hoopla there’s a much deeper and meaningful message than that of ‘sexploitation‘ or even brotherhood as we bear witness to the development of the ideals of young adulthood into much more serious, and grown up, ideas of self-worth and happiness.

I am by no means suggesting that That Awkward Moment is a game changing romcom/brotherhood movie, because it’s not. But, it gives the audience a little more credit than the typical movies of this genre do and in doing so ensures that Chelsea (Mackenzie) and in particular Ellie (Poots) are presented as much stronger and more capable female charactersthan one would expect. This is great for the dynamics of the film’s plot development as you come to expect more from the characters than just falling into the arms of our protagonists.

The standout of this movie, however, is the performance provided by Miles Teller who plays Daniel. Teller, who previously impressed in The Spectacular Now and has since starred inDivergent, truly brought a level of comedy to the movie that would have otherwise not existed and in doing so helped to lift the mood where needed, bringing investment into the development of his own character. He wasn’t too brash despite being ‘that one’ in the trio, and he was just as convincing in his moments of seriousness as he was in his comedy. It was a very good performance in a film full of solid performances by a relatively young cast.

That Awkward Moment isn’t something new and, in many ways, it sticks to the conventions of its genre, but I was pleasantly surprised by the things it did differently and suggest that anyone who’s after an easy watch tries this film. It was writer/director Tom Gormican’s feature debut and I’ll certainly be looking out for more from him.

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