Now that the magic of YouTube means we can watch delights such as a 25-year-old blackhead being squeezed (up close!), gross-out comedies need to raise their game. It would take an overnight search party to find a decent gag in That Awkward Moment, in which Zac Efron, Michael B. Jordan and Miles Teller star as back-slappin’, bromancin’ buddies who make a pact to stay single. Under the new rules, it’s strictly verboten to see the same girl more than twice a week.
The actors—as if they were involved in a hideous industrial accident that’s left them with the superpower of repelling all comedy—are spectacularly unfunny. Not realizing this, the poor lambs look pretty pleased with themselves, doing their best Vince Vaughn smirks. Smuggest and smirkiest is Efron, who—and Shakespeare would kick himself for missing this diamond of a comedy-of-errors plot—mistakes his date for a hooker. Later in the film, Efron wonders if he should go to the funeral of the same girl’s dad: “If I do, then we’re dating.” The script tries very hard with boys-on-the-toilet gags, while awkwardly and halfheartedly attempting to bolt on a rom-com (for wives and girlfriends). But never mind the bathroom jokes: This is a stinker.