Fresh off their success with comedy That Awkward Moment, the film's stars Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller are reteaming with director/screenwriter Tom Gormican for an upcoming heist film. The movie is set in Macau and was inspired by the Ocean's 11 franchise.
A romantic comedy from the man’s perspective sounds a bit like a pipe dream, but Tom Gormican will be making that dream a reality when That Awkward Moment premieres in theaters on Jan. 31. The movie stars Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and Miles Teller as three best friends who are trying to navigate the awkward moment in a relationship between dating and not-quite-officially-dating.
While most romcoms (like 99.9% of romcoms) show relationships from the woman’s perspective, That Awkward Moment is flipping the tables. Efron, Jordan, and Teller’s characters deal with their own romantic relationships in ways that are equally hilarious and compelling. After watching the trailer, we’ve decided that any of these characters would make a good boyfriend — or at least a funny boyfriend.
Although Efron might be the true headliner of this cast — he is, after all, a Hollywood heartthrob — Jordan and Teller are moving into the huge-celebrity-crush category with this film. Jordan has an especially funny moment in the trailer when he says he needs to eat some ice cream because his girlfriend just broke up with him (he gets it!) Meanwhile, Teller seems to be on the opposite side of the man-spectrum by complaining about not being able to fart when girls are around.
Between the three, every girl is bound to be attracted to Efron, Jordan, or Teller in That Awkward Moment. But our question is: why can’t we date all three? (Other than, they don’t have our numbers of course.)
We’re not falling for it, Zac. We’re smarter than that. You can’t take Nicholas Sparks novel, drench it in a vat of testosterone, and call it a raunchy comedy for guys. It’s just doesn’t work that way.
That's exactly what Zac Efron and director and writer Tom Gormican are attempting with his new comedy That Awkward Moment. The film stars Efron, Michael B. Jordan, (who is clearly trying to win points for the Oscar race here), and Miles Teller, three dude-bros that swear off love after one of them is dumped. Single life is totes sweet and full of hijinks until all three of them fall into relationships that threaten to break their promise to each other.
Efron and company are trying pull the wool over our eyes with a genre-bending ruse. The trailer absolutely screams raunchy comedy but it also whispers the sweet nothings of romance into our ears. Stealthily running under the surface of all the sex jokes and naked Viagra gags, there's a sentimental love story begging us to believe in love again, ... but we refuse to believe in love, not again.
It seems that Zac and company are trying to make a romantic film that they think will appeal to men, or maybe even a romantic raunch-fest that they think both men and women would enjoy together. With this movie, it seems like the filmmakers are trying to break out of limiting categories that seperate supposed "guy movies" and "girl movies," and mashing them together into something else entirely, a feat that a film like Judd Apatow's Knocked Up managed succesfully. We’re getting equal parts romance and shirtless Zac Efron for the ladies, and an extended “rock out with your cock out” joke so the guys can laugh at the two hallmarks male-targeted humor, simple rhyming and penises. But really, who says guys can't enjoy a little romance too.
It's not that Movie 43 is shocking or "edgy " or whatever any of the writers or directors would like to convince you. If you want to actually puke or cry or be shocked you can go to Rotten.com like the rest of us Internet miscreants. The Cinema of Transgression films by Nick Zedd and Richard Kern have more artistic value than Movie 43 and are generally more interesting. Which is saying a lot because Zedd's films can get pretty boring. You can only see Annie Sprinkle make out with a man who's listed as Ray the Burn Victim for so long... although I feel terrible for writing because everyone needs love. Sorry Ray.
Movie 43 has 12 directors and 17 writers credited with this anthology of shorts modeled according to producers Peter Farrelly and Charlie Wessler in the spirit of Kentucky Fried Movie. Surprisingly none of those writers or directors go by the name Alan Smithee. It's not even totally clear which were written and directed by whom; the production notes are "hilarious first hand [sic] accounts from those who were a part of and were witnesses to the creation of MOVIE 43."
Kate Winslet and Halle Berry and Richard Gere were tricked into participating which is supposed to make their "outrageous" shorts all the more titillating. One of the larger problems of Movie 43 is that it relies on this handful of mega-stars and on our reactions to them and their off-screen personas all in lieu of genuine comedy onscreen. Would it be funny if some schmuck on YouTube played a Steve Jobs-like character who didn't understand why his company's iBabe music player — which looks like a naked woman but has a coolant system with a fan between its legs — was mangling users? No it wouldn't. And it's definitely not any funnier because it's Richard Gere playing him.
What's most offensive about Movie 43 isn't the scatological humor but how shoddily the whole thing was put together. (To be honest I did nearly walk out during the Anna Faris/Chris Pratt short about her desire to be pooped on. I also nearly barfed during Salo. Because poop.) In quite a few of the shorts half of the actors' heads are cut out of frame. Their heads are literally cut off of the screen in a movie that was professionally filmed by accredited cinematographers. Now it could have been the theater projecting the film that was having the problem but that's not really my concern. My concern was mainly that a handful of paying customers (including myself) were sitting through a studio movie where the top of actors' heads aren't in frame.
The self-referential wraparound for the movie is embarrassing for everyone involved including the viewer. Dennis Quaid plays a disheveled crazy writer who holds a studio exec (Greg Kinnear) hostage until the exec agrees to buy his movie pitch. His pitch is the series of shorts which the exec obviously thinks is a terrible idea... because it is. This is like adding insult to injury because the creators know what they've made is crap. Even the studio exec that they themselves wrote thinks the premise of Movie 43 is crap and has to be held at gunpoint to bring the idea to his boss. This idea that you will have wasted 90 minutes of your life on — minutes you could have spent watching YouTube videos of people squeezing their own cysts or having botflies removed from their bodies or yes making out with burn victims.
Complain all you like about stodgy critics who have no sense of humor and don't get "the kids" today and all that but it seems that Peter Farrelly and the group of people who forced this towards theaters (with little to no help from most of the stars or writers or directors) are the ones who are completely out of touch. With anything. Including humor.'s>