Thursday, January 30, 2014

That Awkward Moment - 2 stars

The filmmakers behind That Awkward Moment want us to think this is a chick flick for guys.  Well, just because the main characters are guys and the movie has a lot of raunchy humor, that doesn't change the fact that it's still a chick flick.  And I don't hate all chick flicks, but most of them require their characters to behave in ways that no rational person would ever behave.

The main characters here are Jason (Zac Efron), Daniel (Miles Teller), and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan).  Mikey's wife has just left him, and his friends take him out to a club to try and get him laid.  They don't succeed, but they do get themselves laid, which seems to happen every night for them.  Jason and Daniel are players, and they each keep a roster of girls.  This way, they can rotate through their roster - a different girl every night - until a girl says "So, where is this going?" or something to that effect.  That's the point when they tell the girl it isn't working out, and a new girl is added to the roster.

For no good reason, the three friends decide to make a pact to remain single, so they can keep sleeping with different girls and have no responsibilities.  This is just stupid.  The movie doesn't set this up very well, and what's even dumber is the way the characters stick to this pact.  Each of them starts seeing a girl they want to get serious with.  Jason starts to really like a girl named Ellie (Imogen Poots), Daniel starts getting serious about his friend Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis), and Mikey manages to get back together with his wife.

There's no way any rational guy would stick to this pact.  Each of them would say to the others "Sorry guys, but I changed my mind about that whole single pact thing."  The lengths they go to in order to keep their respective relationships secret from their friends make no sense.  Daniel even goes so far as to tell Chelsea how his friends reacted when he told them that he was in love, when of course he hasn't said a word to them.  And when Ellie comes over to Jason's apartment, interrupting a night of drinking and X-Box, he bends over backwards to convince the other guys that they're just friends, she's not his girlfriend, ect.

So that's the story.  If you've ever seen a rom com before, you will see exactly where this story is headed.  In every rom com, if one character has a secret, you know the other person will discover this secret at about the hour and ten minute mark.  Then there will be a good 10 or 15 minutes where the guy is sad and realizes he screwed up, and then he will apologize and profess his love in the most public place possible.  I kept hoping this movie would surprise me and go in a different direction, but no.  That was too much to ask.

One problem with this movie is it's being advertised as a comedy.  It really isn't.  Miles Teller has some funny moments, but there are long stretches without a single laugh.  And the story just isn't interesting or compelling enough to make it a good drama.  But the biggest problem is just how unlikeable the characters are, especially Jason.  It's one thing if a guy doesn't want a relationship and wants to keep having one night stands.  But something happens between Ellie and Jason late in the movie that, for me, made his character unforgivable.  I was really hoping she would tell him off when he tried to win her back.  But the movie wants us to sympathize with him instead of with Ellie.  A better actor may have been able to make us sympathize with Jason, but Zac Efron is not up to the task.

In case you couldn't tell, I didn't like this movie. 

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