Movie date: That Awkward Moment (M18)

Cinema Still : That Awkward Moment

STARRING: Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Imogen Poots

DIRECTOR: Tom Gormican

THE SKINNY: Jason (Efron) is a player who is loving the single life and he has two bros. His bro Daniel (Teller) is also a player, but he is a goofball. His other bro Mikey (Jordan) is not a player because he is married.

When Mikey gets dumped by his wife, his pals make a pact to stay single so they can all be bros. But then Jason and Daniel find chicks they are serious about.

RATING: M18

VENUS

I don't think I will ever tyre of seeing Efron's face.

Let me clarify that I am not a fan, but here is one exquisitely good-looking dude whose baby blue eyes are simply magnetic.

And his lovely mug serves him very well here, where he plays a man who has no problem finding women to share his bed.

Perfect for someone who is not quite ready to commit, even when he has found The One.

And here is my problem with That Awkward Moment.

The story of horny 20-something men struggling with relationship problems has been done to death.

From the moment you see Efron sitting on a park bench in the middle of the night, you know this movie is going the paint-by-numbers route, complete with all the requisite toilet humour.

And why is it that the handsome guy's sidekick is always a goofy dork?

The saving grace of this Valentine's Day flick is the camaraderie between the three main guys. There is a strong bromance there, and thankfully, their charm elevates the conventional material.

Credit also goes to the lovely ladies Poots, and Mackenzie Davis in particular, who bring much-needed quirkiness and depth to those stereotypical bedfellows.

MARS

I have never met anyone, guy or girl, who does not love Efron.

Since graduating from High School Musical, he has not exactly set the world on fire, but he's managed to do just enough to stay in the game.

I think we are all waiting and rooting for him to have that one huge hit, but unfortunately That Awkward Moment is not it.

In fact, it has done rather poorly at the US box office.

The main problem with the rom-com is that it is not a very good one.

That is about all you are going to get from me as far as insight regarding this thing.

The premise - young dudes forsaking their bros for "hos" - is pretty tired.

The script feels forced, with a lot of contrived melodrama.

The gags are lame.

Strangely, in spite of all that, I still ended up kinda liking the flick. I enjoy watching Efron's way with people.

His chemistry with his girl (Poots) is pretty convincing.

As he transforms from a douche into a caring partner, you really start rooting for him.

I LOVE nice-guy Efron.

Without giving too much away, there is a scene near the end where he looks into the camera to tell Poots how he really feels, and time stands still.

THIS is why this kid is a star.

THE CONSENSUS: It has its moments, thanks to Efron. So do not fight it, especially when V-day is upon us.

jjohnson@sph.com.sg

joannes@sph.com.sg


Get The New Paper for more stories.