There’s nothing really awkward about the new romantic comedy “That Awkward Moment.”
Despite solid chemistry from the three male leads, this is a predictable piece of fluff that wants to be more of a movie for guys but is really a run-of-the-mill chick flick.
“That Awkward Moment” follows Jason (Zac Efron), Daniel (Miles Teller) and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan), three friends living in New York who aren’t sure what path to take in their romantic lives when Mikey’s wife asks for a divorce.
Womanizing ring leader Jason suggests the friends make a pact to swear off committed relationships and take full advantage of the single life.
Of course, as soon as the main characters swear off love, they immediately hook up with someone. Jason becomes involved with a young writer named Ellie (Imogen Poots). Daniel gets involved with a female friend of the group, discovering a romantic spark, while Mikey tries to win back his wife.
Efron, Teller and Jordan are all good, young actors who elevate the material slightly.
Writer/director Tom Gormican’s script is littered with observations that are supposed to supply the actors with smart one-liners, but most of the material doesn’t have the zip it seeks.
For all the attempts at raunchy humor, “That Awkward Moment” quickly resorts to sappy movie miscommunication that seems to occur only in this type of movie.
With a better script, I think this could have worked, especially with the actors involved. As is, “That Awkward Moment” is forgettable fluff that falls short of keeping its audience interested.
DVD dandy of the week
This week’s dandy is the fascinating one-man triumph “All is Lost” (B+), which features exceptional work by Robert Redford that was overlooked for an Academy Award.
Redford is by himself, barely talking in this story of a sailor on a voyage in the Indian Ocean who wakes up one morning to discover his boat has hit a shipping container.
The sailor manages to repair the breach in his boat, but in the process, his radio is disabled, leaving him unable to summon help.
The sailor tries to make it to safety, but things are further complicated when a strong storm causes more damage to the ship, leaving the man desperate to keep his vessel afloat long enough to be rescued.
“All is Lost” is a simple premise that is executed with strength and confidence by Redford and writer/director J.C. Chandor.
It’s a film that relies heavily on Redford, and the 77-year-old actor takes that weight and delivers some amazing work. Redford has probably one page of dialogue in the nearly two-hour movie, but he tells so much of the story with his weather-worn face, as the character slowly begins to realize the danger of the situation and starts to come to terms with his own mortality.
Chandor helps paint the picture of despair with a camera that captures the emptiness of the sailor’s situation – a sea that this man has surely navigated hundreds of times, but is now ready to swallow him up with no remorse.
“All is Lost” is poetic, beautiful and melancholy as it unfolds – with Redford’s understated performance the anchor for a powerful piece of filmmaking.
“All is Lost” is rated PG-13 for brief strong language and will be available on DVD on Tuesday.