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That Awkward Moment (DQ)


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

Three New York guys (Efron, Teller, Jordan) make a pact to stay single and play the field. Why on earth would they do that? Why not take life as it comes? At any rate, in keeping with the PC feel of modern Hollywood movies, two of the guys are white, the other (newly separated) black.

And, naturally, the inevitable happens. The black guy (Jordan) tries to reconcile with his wife, while the two white guys fall in love when they least expect it. One (Efron) fights it, the other (Teller) embraces it - but neglects to tell his friends.

There are almost no laughs and certainly no emotional involvement in the multiplicity of bad taste moments and sexual embarrassments that follow, not helped by a rare dud performance from Efron, whose thickening features and husky voice seem unable to cope with the limited emotional demands of the script - not that he seems to be getting much help from his director. Neither do Teller and Jordan, so promising in, respectively, Rabbit Hole and Fruitvale Station, exactly cover themselves with glory.

Britain's Poots is rather grating as Efron's new squeeze (perhaps it's the American accent she affects), and the best performance comes from Davis as the plain Jane friend in Teller's life who turns out to be his soulmate: nice job.

The film itself is hardly a romantic comedy, more a sexual charade with bodily function interludes, and only barely adequate at any level, save for the usual gleaming photography of America's great city.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Entertainment One. Colour (unspecified).
94 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

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

Review date: 26 Jan 2014