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That Awkward Moment (AF)


Stars: Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis, Jessica Lucas, Addison Timlin, Josh Pais, Evelina Turin, Karen Ludwig, Tina Benko, Joseph Adams, John Rothman, Barbara Garrick, Lola Glaudini

Director: Tom Gormican

It would be easy (and something of a mistake) to see this amusingly potty-mouthed romcom as something more than it is intended to be – a light-hearted riff on an Apatow comedy with characters who finally emerge as likeable despite their rude, crude hedonistic pursuit of available sex.

Carefree single men behaving badly Zac Efron and Miles Teller make a pact to to stay single to demonstrate their support for their young married doctor friend Michael B. Jordan who discovers his wife is having an affair with attorney Michael K Williams and is seeking a divorce. (Williams’ resemblance to actor Morris Chestnut makes for amiable fun).

Almost inevitably (but competently and mostly credibly set up by director-screenwriter Tom Gormican) the three, having agreed to savour the single life and avoid commitment, begin by seeking sex without strings

Their motto is “This is all about us being together”.

But, predictably they don’t.

Happily their story is put over with wit (much of it enjoyably filthy in the best Apatow tradition) and charm, and, while it’s inevitable the would-be male predators will end up as the helpless prey of the women they are pursuing, getting there is entertainingly enjoyable. Given such basically demanding current releases such as 12 Years a Slave and Out of the Furnace, That Awkward Moment scores as an attractive and welcome date movie.

Having mistaken aspirant writer Imogen Potts for a hooker (sounds improbable but in context makes sense) Efron eventually meets his match. So too, does Teller who finds happiness (and happy congruity in bed) with Mackenzie Davis, while Jordan comes to terms with wife Jessica Lucas…

The film’s key catalyst is its inherent charm.

Despite their bad behaviour, all three men ultimately emerge as likeable and the women, Poots in particular, are excellent too. Ironically what starts as the dating game appropriately ends up as the mating game. All in all, it’s an engaging moral tale told with a clever and enjoyable combination of charm and filth.

Alan Frank

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Entertainment One. Colour.
94 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 2.

Review date: 26 Jan 2014