‘That Awkward Moment’ Review Roundup: What Do Critics Say?

January 30, 2014

‘That Awkward Moment’ has three appealing male lead actors in a romantic comedy — Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan. It’s been much anticipated and now movie critics have had their say. Check out a roundup of reviews

As a genre, it is unusual as it is a romantic comedy that focuses on three male friends rather than three female friends, as they help and support each other through the ups and downs and the uncertainties of dating in Manhattan. And, yes, writer-director Tom Gormican’s new movie is an R-rated comedy and as red-band trailers have revealed, there’s plenty of skin and some interesting acrobatics by a literal butt-naked Zac Efron involving a toilet.

For the three stars of the movie, a box office success would help cement their careers as major actors. For Zac Efron, recently having gone through rehab and prevailed through a broken jaw, and before all of that, the need to escape from the Disney box, the reasons couldn’t be more clear. Miles Teller Michael B. Jordan has drawn notice for his outstanding performance in the lead of ‘Fruitvale Station’ which depicts the real-life story of final hours of the Oscar Brand, a black man shot to death in the BART subway station of the title by a police officer.

Going forward all three actors have some major roles in upcoming movies, respectively Zac Efron will be seen in Seth Rogen’s ‘Neighbors,’ as Miles Teller is a costar alongside Shailene Woodley in ‘Divergent’ which draws comparisons to ‘The Hunger Games’ and Michael B. Jordan goes the superhero route as the Human Torch in the highly anticipated ‘Fantastic Four’ reboot.

But for now, all eyes are on them as three bachelors in New York City. The movie critics are weighing in and the reviews are mixed to negative. Here’s a roundup.

“….Tom Gormican, the writer and director, mostly uses overlapping dialogue in place of actual jokes, although occasionally he stretches to toilet humour. A few years ago, Gormican’s screenplay appeared on a list of Hollywood’s best unmade scripts, which was undoubtedly the best place for it. ….” — The Telegraph

“…The pic falls well short of its efforts to combine the raucous vulgarity of the “Hangover” movies with Cameron Crowe-ish depth of feeling, but Gormican had the good fortune to cast one of the most interesting young actors in movies today, Miles Teller, and to surround him with an able-bodied cast that deserves better than most of what they’ve been given. ….” — Variety

“…But even when Gormican’s material tries too hard to be wackily crude, and not hard enough to make dramatic sense, the actors suggest layers of experience that help to fill in the gaps. The central characters’ contradictions resonate: These guys are trying to figure themselves out, though their chosen method is often avoidance. Among the thin setups and the gags that fall flat, there are well-played laughs and exchanges that capture something true about youthful ambition and the distancing strategy of self-irony….” — Hollywood Reporter

“….Likable lead actors Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller have an appealing chemistry, though the material they’re given lacks cleverness…The balance between ribald comedy and sweet romance is not perfectly calibrated — the film leans too heavily on bathroom humor — but the guys seem to be having fun together….” — USA Today

“….This is a romantic comedy for a young, social media savvy generation. Its problem is its constantly shifting tone. On the one hand, the filmmakers are aiming for a light-hearted, frothy feel, as if they’re making a younger version of a Nora Ephron film. ….” — The Independent

While the critics may not be loving ‘That Awkward Moment’ the movie has proven popular nonetheless through social media where it has received extensive promotion, including more than one live stream Webcast chat with the stars. Industry forecasters are generally predicting a strong box office opening. What will be interesting to see is how well it plays the following week and on through Valentine’s Day, the test of a successful romantic comedy released this time of year.

‘That Awkward Moment’ opens in theaters on Friday, January 31st. A trailer is below!

Pictures: PR Photos

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