That Awkward Moment

Released on January 31, 2014 0 comments

Any film that involves boys of the 20-something set engaged in bonding is almost guaranteed to get a lashing from the editors at GBM. Over the years we’ve watched and lamented as our so-called male youth morphed into a frightening collection of scared little pansies, all too ready to hand over their shriveling prune sacks to the first woman they sleep with. No one likes to admit it, but it’s a real problem, one many women secretly delight in and most men are too inhibited to realize.

Then again, every once and a while we happen upon something like “That Awkward Moment,” which, believe it or not, is actually funnier than it should have been and amazingly features three young guys who pass the masculinity test. Who would have thought? Sure, it has a few tired routines (guy gets upended by a moving cab,) but also enough randiness and believable sexual interplay that it doesn’t veer off and dissolve into an over-wrought weeper. All of which is another way of saying it’s a moderately intelligent guy’s film, one that thankfully isn’t mined from a dreary graphic novel.

Michael B. Jordan made a game-changing entry into the mainstream with his turn as the young man who was shot in “Fruitvale Station.” But we remember him as the ill-fated Wallace, from the first season of “The Wire.” As a reluctant junior drug slinger he was so convincing that his character’s innocence resonated throughout the rest of the series, with his friends from the corner never able to get past the horrible way he’d been taken out, and ultimately exacting a bit of payback. That innocence is just as strong in “Awkward,” with Jordan reeling and attempting to get his mojo back after being dumped. Thankfully he has a pair of buddies with a strong code of friendship. Zac Effron and Miles Teller both deliver, and all three prove to have serious, dry-witted comedic credentials.

We don’t say it often, but the studio toads got this one right. Either that or they simply got out of the way.