That Awkward Moment could be set to shed new light on the Rom-Com genre, traditionally thought of as chick flick territory, when the element of bromance between the three male leads is forefront. The film has been touted as a romantic comedy from a male perspective. That Awkward Moment has a star line up of male leads: Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller as three friends in the big city, getting into mischief, making pacts, drinking and hooking up.
The film follows Jason (Zac Efron) as a 20 something self-confessed bachelor with a string of women that he can pick up and put down at will, thus preventing him from settling down into a steady relationship. His close friend Daniel (Miles Teller) lives a similar life with the added bonus of girl friend Chelsea (Makenzie Davis) who helps him when he is on the pull. The move of Teller and Davis between mates and more than mates is one of the more obvious plot twists. Finally Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) careens quickly between happily married to recently divorced, and the three decide to enjoy each other’s company and quit dating for a while. Of course, like any good Rom-Com, this happens to be the point at which each character discovers his potential soulmate.
Director of That Awkward Moment Tom Gormican wrote the film to reinvent the Rom-Com genre for the modern age of bromance relationships. He has previously worked on Save the Date and Movie 43. Gormican has stated that he wanted to write the film to show the other side of romance, without trapping actors in traditional gender roles. In an interview he calls Michael B. Jordan the Reese Whitherspoon of the new generation, referencing a scene where Jordan’s character wants to sit around and mope over his broken marriage with a tub of ice-cream a lá Bridget Jones. The film hopes to provide women a peek behind the curtain to show how men relate to each other when the opposite sex are not around. Gormican is hoping to provide a reality that men will see as their own, in much the same way that women relate to movies like Bridget Jones’ Diary, What Women Want or He’s Just Not That Into You.
Some critics have slammed some aspects of That Awkward Moment for its generic content and flat dialogue that sometimes crosses the line from funny to downright crude. But it is generally agreed that the three leads are a good fit with each other. Teller is noted as the real surprise figure. The chemistry between him and co-star Davis shows up on-screen as genuine, with Teller providing a multi-layered performance between male posturing and sweetness.
Jordan provided his co-stars with a real life awkward moment when he appears for his towel scenes without the modesty sock that would have kept him decent. He adds that he was completely comfortable with appearing nude around the others and may have made the joke after Teller teased him about his lack of experience in comedy roles. Jordan, who is known for The Wire, recently won the 2013 National Board of Review award for best breakout performance in the biography Fruitvale Station.
That Awkward Moment reinvents the Rom-Com from a bromance perspective. The film premiered recently at the Regal Cinemas in LA and will be in cinemas on Friday.
By Sara Watson