Edge, Movies

‘That Awkward Moment’ flips gender roles, reflects rising generation

photo courtesy www.geekedoutnation.com

The new film “That Awkward Moment” pushes beyond the expectations of a romantic comedy, delivering a refreshing take on the dynamics of relationships. Inverting the female “best friends forever” formula, the film tracks the love lives of three best buds, played by Zac Efron, Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan, who make a pact to live the bachelor dream after one of them gets dumped.

Zac Efron, who was also executive producer for the first time on this film, admitted his bias against the traditional romantic comedy at a press day in Miami Beach.

“Romantic comedies … felt like the only thing I could bring something to, yet I didn’t want to, because I didn’t like the way so many of them had been made recently.”

Reading Tom Gormican’s script for “That Awkward Moment” ended Efron’s four-year search for a film worth producing.

“I recognized something in it that was authentic to guys now, to this generation, that I hadn’t seen before,” Efron said. “Tom found a really cool movie. I recognized a lot of my own life in it. I recognized a lot of values that I saw in my best friends, so I knew that if we found the right guys to play the best friends, I could help do something special.”

Though the film avoids the typical romantic comedy cliches, everything from its casting to  its production fell into place like movie magic.

Gormican met Teller at a bar at the birthday party of a mutual friend who introduced them. At the bar, Gormican witnessed Teller in action, with “shots and hitting on girls.” He called Teller the next day to offer him the role.

Teller was happy to support independent filmmaking – an experience he calls truly “collaborative” – but most importantly, he believed in the script.

“I thought it was really funny, and I thought it had a lot of heart and I’ve done some comedies that didn’t have the heart in it,” Teller explained.

Gormican, who in addition to writing the script also served as the film’s first time director, had his work cut out for him.

“If you’ve seen anything about these three guys, just wrangling them is part of the challenge. They’re all fantastic actors, but they’ve got a lot of energy,” he said.

That energy is the product of the natural chemistry the actors share on and off camera – one that makes the movie appear heavily improvised. Yet, surprisingly, 99 percent of it came from the script, according to Efron, who finds that in better movies the script is followed closely.

“But there are moments that you can’t deny that good actors give you gifts and with these guys,” he said, pointing to Jordan and Teller. “You can’t help it. You just react naturally.”

Part of the lack of improvisation was due to the film’s tight time schedule. It was shot entirely in 24 days.

Though it is primarily a comedy, the film deals with contemporary issues. It challenges gender roles, moving away from chick flick stereotypes. Instead of the heroine mooning over her love interest, it is the male character eating his feelings in a tub of ice cream (albeit with whisky) and Facebook stalking to determine if she’s still single.

“One of the things that this movie tries to do is say that these gender-specific roles are not that anymore,” Gormican said. “The lines are blurry if they ever were, and while that may sound like an obvious thing, it’s underrepresented in popular culture.”

The prevailing comedy is so natural and unapologetic that the parts that are sentimental stand out nicely.

“The hope is that people see a lot of different aspects of themselves and how they deal with relationships, and each one of the characters is sort of representative of different things,” Gormican said.

With its unpredictable script, natural performances and hilarious plot, “That Awkward Moment” digs past the noise, echoing the evolving and contradicting forces of our generation and making it a must-see this winter.

February 2, 2014

Reporters

Luisa Andonie


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Miami Hurricanes fans might recall their favorite college football players in past years dreaming of ...

The new quarterback is usually the ones fans gush over. For the University of Miami, last season it ...

Debate all you want, but University of Miami football coach Mark Richt made it clearer than ever Wed ...

Last year, when University of Miami tailback Mark Walton attended the Atlantic Coast Conference Foot ...

The Miami Hurricanes will have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball this season, and four play ...

Following the summit between Trump and Putin, reaction from politicians, pundits and former intellig ...

A School of Communication associate professor played an important hand—an artistic one!—in World Cup ...

University of Miami law and political science professors weigh in on Trump’s SCOTUS nominee. ...

Research bioclimatologists with the UM Synoptic Climatology Lab counsel cities on how to manage risi ...

A UM-led study is examining how children’s play behavior at beaches could impact their health. ...

Miami junior wide receiver Ahmmon Richards was among those named to the watch list for the 2018 Bile ...

University of Miami junior running back Travis Homer was named a preseason candidate for the Doak Wa ...

Six former Canes competed on NBA Summer League teams, with three averaging at least 10 points per ga ...

Quick Hits gives University of Miami volleyball fans an opportunity to get to know the new student-a ...

The University of Miami's volleyball team earned the American Volleyball Coaches Association (A ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.