That Awkward Moment ain't a thinker

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Starring Zac Efron and Imogen Poots. Rated 14A. Now playing

In case you’ve never seen a movie about three urban horndogs hanging on to their fast-fading youth, I’ll lay it out for you. In first-time writer-director Tom Gormican’s That Awkward Moment, Zac Efron has the leading role as Jason, a smooth customer used to shooing bar-scene pickups quickly through his Manhattan man cave. The Spectacular Now’s Miles Teller plays goofy pal Daniel, who does almost as well as the bedroom-eyed Jason, mainly due to his nonstop patter. (So far, it’s the exact same plot as Don Jon, minus the social commentary, and without Tony Danza as a dad in Jersey wife-beaters.)

The guys work as illustrator-designers at a small publishing firm, and should thank their lucky stars for that miracle, but don’t. They’ve been buds since college with Mikey (Michael B. Jordan), a handsome doctor and the only married dude of the Awkward troika. That status changes when doc catches his wife (Vancouver’s gorgeous Jessica Lucas) cheating with a divorce lawyer. (Talk about efficiency!) This leads to one of those pacts that two-dimensional people make in dumb movies: the single guys vow to stay that way as long as Mikey is on the loose—an arrangement immediately imperiled when the stud brothers hook up with opposite numbers.

In Jason’s case, it’s an adorably feisty writer (Britain’s Imogen Poots, playing American). Daniel, meanwhile, has reluctantly fallen for his platonic gal pal (Mackenzie Davis). And Mikey is secretly trying to get back with his wife. Basically, all three are on the path to something like happiness, but no, they have to honour the pact—because comedy!

Perhaps it’s best not to think about this one too much. After all, it’s the kind of tale in which under-30s have apartments the size of Grant’s Tomb. And more crucially, you’re told to think that if you got caught having sex in someone’s bathroom, you wouldn’t close the door and put your pants on—you’d take a slow walk of shame through a crowded, suddenly silent party. Maybe these Awkward filmmakers were just thinking ahead, to their reviews.

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