That Awkward Moment—as the title implies—invokes all kinds of puns and comparisons with its astounding level of stupidity running amok throughout the 94-minute runtime. Case in point, that awkward moment when you realize it’s going to be a long 94 minutes. That awkward moment when you realize you missed out on a new episode of Arrow and the American Horror Story season finale. That awkward moment when you realize that every character is a big, fat douche you have no interest in or care about. That awkward moment when you realize that every single character’s destiny has been set in stone since the dawn of the rom-com.
That awkward moment when you realize that Zac Efron mentioning sitting on a bench for four hours in the opening scene is equal to how long you’ll feel this movie is. That awkward moment when, at the end of the film, it tells us “Two Months Later” and you feel like it’s been two months since the film started. And finally, that awkward moment when you realize, merely four minutes in, that you’re sitting through what will stand as one of the year’s worst films and still have 90 minutes to go. Needless to say, That Awkward Moment truly is that bad.
The so-called plot involves three best friends, Jason (Efron), Daniel (Miles Teller), and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan), who make a pact to stay single. Since Jason just got dumped and Mikey’s wife Vera (Jessica Lucas) asked him for a divorce, it makes perfect sense. The boys know that the only way to forget their sorrows is to hit the bar where they meet up with Daniel’s wingwoman Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis). Mikey wants no part of this but still winds up getting a number. Meanwhile, Jason ends up going home with Ellie (Imogen Poots), whom he mistakes for a hooker. Sure enough, Ellie walks into Jason’s book cover design office boardroom, where he has to make up for the fact that he left after their rendezvous. And so begins the age old drama of boy finding girl, boy losing girl, boy getting girl back.
Seriously, every scene feels cobbled together from other genre films, but writer-director Tom Gormican remains hell bent on making us think that by flipping the characters’ sexes that it’s the cleverest thing ever put on film. This is the kind of film where a Thanksgiving Day funeral is a crucial plot point. Nonsensical, deplorable, and yes, even atrocious are the best words to describe this terrible “movie.” Gormican may be credited with the screenplay, but That Awkward Moment features some stunningly grotesque and unfunny ad-libbing. Not even after Mikey uses tanning cream as lube can anyone come up with anything even remotely snicker-inducing about the situation.
The girls on the other hand—Poots and Davis—are pretty charming and make you wish that this had been their movie. Oddly enough, That Awkward Moment also features the most nudity-less sex I’ve ever seen in an R-rated film. So alas, all we’re stuck with is that awkward moment when it’s your critical obligation to not bolt for the door. Not even Efron’s naked butt will be enough to make girls want to sit through this. All it will cause is that awkward moment when girls in the audience realize they could have just sat home, watching any other movie, looking at pics of him on their phones.
Photos courtesy Focus Features