May 21, 2014

That Awkward Moment (2014)

Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan, and who I assume is the new geeky "it" guy, Miles Teller



...

Those three little dots can really draw out a moment from a mere pause into the realm of awkwardness. Back when you could create 'groups' on facebook, a friend of mine made one called "... is my life." Anyone who understood the implicit meaning was invited to join. I think she managed to get about six people. Including herself.

Yeah. Who hasn't had this happen with an in-law?
That sad little facebook group is a direct parallel to the state of hit comedies today. I do not enjoy the over-the-top, unrealistic awkward situations found in most movies, like Meet the Parents. It's just not realistic. Where is the humor in a decent person having absolutely everything go wrong in their life? Do we really laugh at people's sucky luck? Do fans of Meet the Parents also laugh at homeless people on the street? But somehow, this disaster movie spawned not one, but two sequels, and people continue to pay to watch Ben Stiller movies. That money could be going to set up some sort of Murphy's Law foundation for homeless people instead.

I do, however, appreciate the humor found in everyday awkward moments, around which this movie is centered. It's not only mostly believable, but you can actually relate to some of the awkward moments in the movie. Like, who hasn't had a relationship end they didn't even know began? No? Really? Just me?

In some cases, a combination of both penises and toilets.
This movie is filled with clichés, of course. It is essentially a romantic comedy, after all. It's highly predictable and has some cheesy moments, but this movie does attempt something that many other romantic comedies do not - it at least tries to appeal to the male demographic. Much like action movies started appealing to the reluctant women viewers by having hot male leads take their shirts off and occasionally attempting a plot beyond 'blow stuff up,' this movie showcases a number of hot girls and adds a healthy dose of "guy humor" (aka penis and bathroom jokes). 

Where this movie falls short is in its main girl character, Ellie. First of all, she is the worst looking girl in the entire movie. I mean, there are non-speaking extras in the movie that command more attention than her. Also, she embodies every cliché of what guys claim to be looking for: she's witty, low-maintenance, and she plays X-Box and drinks scotch. Here are the glaring problems with this:

No way Zac Efron hits on this.
1. Twenty-something guys don't actually date the low-maintenance girl. In all my years of life, I have never figured out why, but most guys date high-maintenance girls, then complain to their low-maintenance female friends about how their girlfriends are high-maintenance. Real life does not reflect Some Kind of Wonderful. Much like nice guys not getting the girl, low-maintenance girls don't really get the guy.

2. Ellie looks like crap. Dirty, emo, hipster, crap. Which is weird, because Imogen Poots (despite her highly unfortunate name) is not actually bad looking in real life. But this movie made her so undesirable to look at it was not only not believable that Zac Efron would date her, but her mere screen presence was distracting. I mean, she looked like she woke up in a gutter after celebrating Mardi Gras for a week and stepped directly onto the movie set.

Don't get me wrong - I appreciate the divergence from the typical romantic comedy portrayal of a high-strung type-A girl who is too picky to get a man (aka anything with Katherine Heigl), but why does "low-maintenance" have to equate to some girl who can't be bothered to run a comb through her hair?!? And any guy who thinks think he wants a girl who plays X-Box and has all the same interests as him is kidding himself because in a few months, he'll be complaining he never gets alone time with his guy friends because he and his girlfriend do everything together because (duh!) they have all the same exact interests. Here's a hint guys: the trick to a solid relationship is not to simply find a copy of your buddies who looks like a girl.

Aaaaaanyway...

I know I'm in the vast, vast minority, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say I enjoyed this movie for what it was. It wasn't brilliant, but it was funny in an American Pie sort of way except that this was slightly more grown up. And seeing Zac Efron shirtless is highly preferable to seeing Jason Biggs shirtless.

Though this creates its own awkward humor.

Final word: I think it takes a specific kind of person to appreciate this movie.

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