You have to give That Awkward Moment some credit. It is trying to do something different with not only the genre of romantic comedies, but the larger idea of the chick flick. It presents a rom-com with all the chick flick trimmings, told from the guys’ perspective. Does it work?
Zac Efron, Miles Teller and man of the year Michael B. Jordan (is he in Star Wars: Episode VII and the Fantastic Four reboot?) star as three buddies who are navigating the waters of relationships in modern day New York City.
Jordan’s wife wants a divorce and Teller and Efron are too busy building their “roster” to even think of settling down. We learn repeatedly throughout That Awkward Moment that any single guy worth his salt should have a roster. That is a bevy of babes to hook up with regularly. And like a baseball team, when one loses its worth, you take it out of the lineup and bring up someone new.
Writer-director Tom Gormican has tried to craft a film that is a traditional chick flick but with a different flair. Yet, he uses some of the same stereotypes throughout, just with a male living and experiencing them instead of a female. An example of that was present from that first That Awkward Moment trailer. Jordan, upset that his wife wants a divorce, shows up at his buds’ house with a tub of ice cream... ready to drown his sorrows.
See, if That Awkward Moment wanted to be truly original, it would present the same “feel” as a traditional “chick flick” without resorting to the stereotypes of those films, and simply trading a girl for a guy. If a filmmaker wanted to truly delve into unchartered waters, surely there must have been a million other ways to show emotional turmoil rather than to go back to the same old well and simply change the gender of the character.
Even Teller and Efron’s characters follow the same blueprint as the men from some of the most famous romantic comedy chick flicks of all time. They don’t want to settle down. They hear the word commitment and run like the wind. Yet, when they meet what could be the right girl -- and often she is right in front of them -- they can’t tell until it’s too late. There’s even the, “wait, I really love you” scene times two!
Our That Awkward Moment review has to state that we truly appreciate what Gormican was going for by turning a genre on its head. But, in the end the movie simply switches roles all within the same stereotype mold that we’ve seen a million times.
Now if you watch Love Actually online, you’ll see what we mean by a rom-com that breaks the mold… and time truly has shown that classic does it better than anyone.