With Valentine’s Day coming up, you can expect a slew of romantic “chick flicks” to flood theaters. The problem with those types of movies though is that the demographic is pretty limited. Yes most girlfriends/wives can usually convince their significant others to go with them to such a film, but it still limits the potential audience. That Awkward Moment attempts to solve that problem.
Blending a traditional chick flick with a crude guys’ buddy comedy, That Awkward Moment opens with Mikey’s (Michael B. Jordan fresh off his dramatic turn in Fruitvale Station) unfortunate breakup with his wife. Always there for their friend, Jason (Zac Efron) and Daniel (Miles Teller from The Spectacular Now) swear to get him back in the game while staying single themselves. Bro code solidarity and all.
Of course, the moment that relationships are off the table, all three friends can’t help but find themselves possibly falling into one.
With Mikey trying to rekindle things with his wife (Jessica Lucas), and the two playboys falling for a one night stand (Imogen Poots) and an old friend (Mackenzie Davis), pretty much all of the rom-com situations are here, but the film is built like a slightly tamer tale of the “Wolf Pack’s” younger years. The film is neither as chick flicky as the regular trailers try to sell, nor as rude and crude as the red band teaser suggests. Instead, it falls nicely somewhere between. That’s great since it means there is something here for multiple crowds, though it also means that ultimately it probably won’t stand out as a favorite for anyone.
There are sweet, if cliched, moments of NYC romance. There is a scene spent discussing various realistic dildos in a sex shop. There is an inspirational speech that tries to be as poignant as the one in 10 Things I Hate About You and there is a giant fake penis going into someone’s drink – quickly followed by a jolting funeral. Despite the conflicting tones, the film keeps things together rather well, and the characters even come off as mostly intelligent and likeable, despite being complete idiots at times. By all rights, this film should not work and should not make any sense. Yet somehow it does. It should prove to be a decent crowd pleaser overall but not one that will become an instant classic.
There have surely been countless date night movie options less appetizing than this one. You can at least be thankful that this year’s Nicholas Sparks adaptation doesn’t come out until October.
Mrs. Hamster could not attend this screening
My rating: Three out of five hats
That Awkward Moment falls for 2,809 theaters, January 31