Romantic comedy screenwriters want us to believe that love is full of cute challenges, those inconsequential moments blown out of proportion, awaiting simple, declarative resolutions on the pathway to a happily ever after scenario (that now leads to a sequel with more of the same). We all know from personal experience that this formula has nothing to do with love, but sadly, we continue to get involved in the games impossibly beautiful characters play. Sometimes things get twisted and the impossibly beautiful actors playing those impossibly beautiful characters fall prey to an insidious scam foisted onto them by studios, managers and agents eager to make a quick buck.
Imagine, for instance, being Michael B. Jordan or Miles Teller, two young rising stars. Why on Earth are Jordan, from last year’s Sundance favorite Fruitvale Station, and Teller, buzzing from his performance in this year’s Sundance darling Whiplash, trolling around in the tonally awkward mess that is That Awkward Moment alongside perennial rom-com playboy Zac Efron? More importantly, why should either of these guys be saddled with playing second and third fiddle behind the blandly charming Efron? The fellas exhibit a casual camaraderie that will likely serve them fantastically — if Josh Trank picks them for his Fantastic Four reboot. But they got played by the pitch from their agents and the studio folks — “You’ll get to show your sexy sides, your hard-body allure that will complement your sensitive indie credibility.” — because this is the kind of Moment that begs for short-term memory loss of Memento proportions. (R) Grade: D