A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the comedy That Awkward Moment follows three twenty-something best friends who vow to just hook up and not get involved with anyone in order to stay single together. Although stars Zac Efron, Miles Teller, and Michael B. Jordan are known for previously starring in teen-friendly fare, this is a mature post-college sex comedy that while not graphic in its depiction of sex, is still incredibly risque. There's near-constant strong language ("f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," "pussy," "cock," "dick," etc.), and several sex scenes that show sides of breasts, butts, and bare shoulders, and women in bras and panties. The movie's message is that relationships require work, acknowledgement, and commitment.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In THAT AWKWARD MOMENT, best friends since college, twenty-something New Yorkers Jason (Zac Efron), Mikey (Michael B. Jordan), and Daniel (Miles Teller) are dealing with a relationship crisis: Mikey's wife Vera (Jessica Lucas) has announced she's been unfaithful and wants a divorce, so the other guys promise him that the way to get over his failed marriage is to have casual hook-ups and remain loyal only to one another. But just as the guys are beginning to enjoy the single life, Jason meets the quirky and sweet Ellie (Imogen Poots) and Daniel realizes his best female friend Chelsea (Mackenzie Davis) might be more than his designated "wing man."
Is it any good?
Despite efforts by the charming young cast of That Awkward Moment to elevate the thin and shallow material, it just doesn't work; they deserve so much more. The comic gags are raunchy and unoriginal -- like when Mikey walks in on Jason having casual sex, or after Mikey accidentally rubs self-tanner on his penis, leading to witless jokes about what his member looks like-- and the relationship arcs are predictable and obvious.
It's always a shame when the only women worthy of love are various shades of Mary from There's Something About Mary -- gorgeous but "just one of the guys," a woman who is as comfortable drinking Scotch and playing video games as she is performing sexual acts in her parents' bathroom during Thanksgiving. The ensemble is full of actors, particularly Teller and Jordan, who will no doubt make their mark in far superior films. They're charismatic and emotive and of course attractive; too bad That Awkward Moment is just that -- awkward and full of only the flimsiest of easy laughs.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the movie's messages about sex and relationships. Who do you think has the healthiest view of romantic love?
Do you consider this movie appropriate for teenagers? Why or why not?
Jason, Daniel, and Mikey are played by actors who've been in teen-targeted movies or TV shows. Do you think the actors' past work makes it hard to consider this movie for mature audiences?
- In theaters: January 31, 2014
- On DVD or streaming: May 13, 2014
- Cast: Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan
- Director: Tom Gormican
- Studio: Focus Features
- Genre: Comedy
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 94 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: sexual content and language throughout
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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