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Review: 'That Awkward Moment' satisfies with cringes, laughs

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Meg's Tip: If you’ve ever silently sobbed while watching something other than a chick flick and lived to tell the tale, “That Awkward Moment” is one film that you’ll want to check out.
 
Starring Zac Efron of "High School Musical" fame, “That Awkward Moment” is a comedy set in New York. It opened Jan. 31, 2014.
 
The title of the film not only pokes fun at the widely used phrase to talk about those less than smooth moments in life, but also summarizes a lot of how this film operates.
 
The film thrives off the triangular friendship between Jason (Efron), Mikey (Michael B. Jordan) and Daniel (Miles Teller). Through their relationships and awkward mishaps the audience is invited to live life vicariously.
 
Jason and his buddies face the idea of love from different vantage points and at different points in time. In an attempt to preserve their bromance, the trio makes a bet to remain single.
 
How far will three men go to thwart off the opposite sex? As you will see, it’s not easy. They’re a group of attractive men, something few would dispute, for goodness sakes. Nonetheless, it gets downright awkward at times seeing them fumble in distress and even struggle to impress women.
 
Character-wise, it was hard to not pin Jason as most likely to lose the bet. Jason gave off the vibe that he was an arrogant yet disconnected fellow that tends to have his way with the ladies but then turns ice cold with the drop of one question, “So?”
 
In Jason’s mind, “So?” signifies that it's time to bounce like there wasn't even a relationship brewing. To women, “So?” represents a way of moving past the present and looking towards the future. It’s this display that is somewhat off-putting considering Efron's heartthrob status, but something that audiences will enjoy.
 
Overall, the film’s main characters were excellently cast. Efron worked with mainly unknown actors, but if you give this a film a try, you'll see that the supporting cast has the power to become household names down the road.
 
Even so, you can feel that a lot of molding and chemistry took place behind the scenes. The cast gelled together as one to put out a synchronized film.
 
The casting's role in the film's success can't be understated. For one thing, the romantic scenes were on point. Thought this is a laugh-out-loud comedy, the dramatic elements are honest and liable to force audiences to choke back tears in silence.
 
In particular, Efron had big shoes to fill with this role. We have seen Efron take on somewhat less than stellar films but this breaks the mold.
 
Efron took long strides to distance himself from the rest of his comrades from the "High School Musical," but the hard work is paying off. If you were not a fan of Efron before, you will surely become one now. Efron trades in the singing and dancing routine in exchange for a chance to show off his comedic chops with style and ease.
 
Thanks should go to director Tom Gormican for casting Efron as the lead for the film. “That Awkward Moment” is Gormican’s first major studio movie as a director. Previously, he had co-produced “Movie 43 (2013).” Some may not know the film, but if you do, don't let that could your judgment. Gormican shows time and time again in "That Awkward Moment" that he can manage a production.
 
While under Gormican’s direction, awkward moments are turned popular. It is this idea that best encapsulates what the film strives to do in the comedy department and at the box office.
 
At the box office, “That Awkward Moment” packed more theaters than “The Nut Job” and “Lone Survivor.” Doing so, allowed the film to take the No. 3 slot during Super Bowl weekend. Though audiences were heavily skewed with females then, this film’s universality could easily leave the film ranking high among the top five again.
 
The bottom line: Everyone has experienced “That Awkward Moment,” let’s face it. Some won’t admit it and that may make this awkward, but just as this film advocates, the question remains, “So?”
 
“That Awkward Moment” is rated R for sexual content and language.

Megann Horstead is the North Central College Chronicle's social media editor.  This review was reprinted with permission from the North Central Chronicle.

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