With mainstream Hollywood comedies growing ever more laborious, it’s been the independent films that have done everything of note in the last few years. But after Miles Teller’s recent starring roles (including the excellent The Spectacular Now) and Zac Efron really maturing beyond his Disney identity, there was always hope for more to come out of That Awkward Moment than perhaps we were due. And to my delight, it was a real surprise.
When three best friends all find themselves single for the first time since college, the trio make a pact to stay that way and go out and party like they used to. But when Jason (Efron) falls for a girl he meets in the bar, Daniel (Teller) and their friend Chelsea going from friends with benefits to something more serious and Mikey (Jordan) trying to reconcile with his wife who wants a divorce, they’re all left ignoring their promise after realising what they’ve got is much more important.
That Awkward Moment is a real surprise and not really about the “so where is this all going?” moment you’re sold in the trailer. The film’s about three guys failing to keep a pact that they’ll stay single and though the film has the look, and at times, the script of a throwaway Hollywood comedy, there’s an indie spirit that gives it real heart.
Miles Teller and Zac Efron are especially fantastic, so full of energy and charisma, and alongside Michael B. Jordan, they make the film so much of a joy.
That Awkward Moment is frequently hilarious, with comedy more subtle that some of its peers. The lines are dryer and it pays dividends, giving the film much more of an individual tone than you might expect.
The first film from writer/director Tom Gormican, That Awkward Moment expunges the producer credit for Movie 43 that would have forever blotted his CV. Though some of the telegraphed plot points could have done with a little more imagination, the dialogue is witty, sharp and really funny. From the outside Tha t Awkward Moment looks like a typical, throwaway comedy but it has heart and an indie spirit that turn it into something altogether different, something that deserves to be seen.