Sexist work full of unfunny gags

Zac Efron is competent as the jerk.

Review: THAT AWKWARD MOMENT (M18)/95 minutes/Opens on Thursday

The story: Best friends Jason (Zac Efron), Daniel (Miles Teller) and Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) swear off romantic relationships and think why waste time on them when they can just have a series of sexual flings?

Then they start second-guessing their own attitude when each of them finds love: Jason with the mysterious Ellie (Imogen Poots), Daniel with his longtime friend Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis), and Mikey with his ex Vera (Jessica Lucas).

Yip Wai Yee

The title of this unoriginal and sexist work from first-time writer-director Tom Gormican refers to the point in a romantic fling when the girl decides to get serious, which according to obnoxious male lead Jason (Efron) is possibly the worst thing that can ever happen to a man.

What is worse, actually, is for a moviegoer to sit through 11/2 hours of terribly unfunny gags about discoloured genitalia and "horizontal peeing techniques".

Clearly, Gormican is trying to pass this off as an edgy adult comedy, but Judd Apatow he is not. The dialogue in his writing is cliched and the comic timing completely off, and that is not even counting how unrealistic the story is.

Jason, for example, mistakes his dream girl Ellie as a prostitute, even calling her that to her face. Strangely enough, she forgives him for it and finds it weirdly charming.

In another scene, he shows up at an elegant birthday party with a dildo dangling off his jeans "because it's funny" and ends up becoming all the more popular for it. Essentially, this is a dream movie for arrogant jerks.

The only thing that redeems the movie somewhat is its casting.

Pretty boy Efron is competent enough, but it is the other two leads, Teller and Jordan, who manage to rise above the contrived material and give the work some emotion.

Rising star Teller, who has been making waves in the independent film circuit with his acclaimed performances in the films The Spectacular Now (2013) and Whiplash (2014), is sincere as the guy who suddenly realises he wants to be more than friends with his long-time pal Chelsea (a wonderful Mackenzie Davis).

Jordan, who had been brilliant as a guy who gets shot by police on New Year's Day in Fruitvale Station (2013), is vulnerable and utterly confused here about why he would get dumped by his wife, despite him "checking all the right boxes in life" by going to medical school and marrying his college sweetheart.

Too bad they are given so little to work with here.


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