'That Awkward Moment': That awkward movie

Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.January 30, 2014 

Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan and Zac Efron play selfish guys struggling in relationships with women in That Awkward Moment.



    'That Awkward Moment'


    R for sexual content and language throughout. Focus Features. 1:34. Fayette Mall, Frankfort, Georgetown, Hamburg, Movie Tavern, Nicholasville, Richmond, Woodhill.

If you learned everything you know about romance from movies but you didn't remember about half of it and you didn't quite understand the other half, then I suspect you are the screenwriter of That Awkward Moment.

"Awkward" is the word for the sporadically funny, Apatovian comedy. It's about — say it along with me — selfish young men and the swell beauties who inexplicably like them.

Incredibly, in this case, the beauties go beyond being charmed by the immaturity of the guys to saying things such as, "This thing doesn't have to be a thing," and not minding when they're completely ignored.

It all climaxes in a Big Romantic Gesture — along the lines of Jerry Maguire's far superior "You complete me" moment — that really, really doesn't work.

It's a shame because Awkward's game cast gives it all they have. The guys — Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller — are as likable as 25-year-olds playing emotional 15-year-olds could possibly be. And the women, particularly Imogen Poots as Efron's love interest, are vivid and funny.

Poots' wit and offbeat line deliveries reminded me of Ari Graynor from Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, which reminded me: What ever happened to Graynor? Which reminded me that what probably happened to Graynor is that she's busy turning down synthetic scripts like this one.

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