That Awkward Moment

Last night at the BET Awards, Michael B. Jordan won best actor for Creed. Last night during the BET Awards I watched a movie starring Michael B. Jordan called That Awkward Moment, a mistitled piece of cinema if I’ve ever seen one because at 1h34m, you can pack in hundreds of awkward moments, and they did.

That Awkward Moment stars two promising young actors, and Zac Efron. Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan have been in dozens of movies between them these past two or three years, some exceptional, some exceptionally bad. And I get it: you’re young, new to Hollywood, new to money. Make bank! Dolla dolla dolla bills, y’all. I get it. But there’s a limit, I think, to what an audience will tolerate before turning its back, and Miles Teller is dangerously close.

Miles Teller just starred in the Oscar-nominated Whiplash in 2014, so how can he have already wracked up so much ill-will? Well, besides this movie, he’s starred in 3 increasingly apathetic Brody-Whiplash-1200Divergent movies, the critically-panned Fantastic Four, and an embarrassingly poor attempt at comedy called Get A Job. He’s been in 8 films since Whiplash and not one of them reminds us that this kid had a good thing going. He’s got a new one coming out with Jonah Hill called War Dogs and we’re all hoping it’ll be a return to form, probably no one more so than his agent, because while they’re both earning money, Teller is decided not earning praise (or success at the box office), and Hollywood has a pretty short memory for little movies like Whiplash.

Michael B. Jordan, you may note, also has that Fantastic Four atrocity under his own belt. And he’s also got a really great indie movie to his name in Fruitvale Station. If you haven’t seen it, you really must. It was robbed at the Oscars and was nominated for nothing but it was one of fruitvale-station-main1the best in 2013, recounting the true story and final hours of a young man who is erroneously gunned down by police. Jordan, who’d mostly done TV up until then  (I knew him as a kid on The Wire but he was also in Friday Night Lights and Parenthood), really proved himself on screen but has had only a small handful of films since then, unlike his frequent co-star, Miles Teller. In fact, the only one  he did without him is the only one worth mentioning: Creed. Reunited with Fruitvale Station’s writer\director Ryan Coogler, Creed was an enormous success. It honoured the Rocky legacy while establishing its own dynasty. It had important champions in Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers but quickly won over audiences everywhere. It’s rumoured that Jordan will be joining the cast of Marvel’s Black Panther movie, but that’s all he’s got on the horizon. Besides War Dogs, Miles Teller has another one in the bank, something in post-production and 2 in pre-production. So tell me: what the hell is the difference? Two handsome young dudes with great roles in their back pockets. One is working back to back to back, and the other very little.

So I’ll ask again: what is the difference? Because I can see one glaring difference, and I hate how it sounds. I hate it.

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20 thoughts on “That Awkward Moment

  1. joel watches movies

    Your reviews are the best. No sarcasm- love how this one consisted of approximately one sentence actually talking about the movie (seems like that’s all it deserved), and the rest of the page bringing up a much more intriguing discussion comparing two growing careers of two different actors. I absolutely loved Teller in The Spectacular Now and Whiplash, it hurts my heart that he’s been in nothing really substantial since then, and it hurts my heart even more to acknowledge the big Hollywood problem you implied at the end there. 😦

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    1. Jay Post author

      I really enjoyed The Spectacular Now as well – I left it out because it predates Whiplash. He’s got some really strong performances and I hope we see more from him like that.

      And you’re right – I was dismissive of the movie and it wasn’t even terrible. It was just entirely forgettable.

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  2. Diego

    Not sure how many roles each get offered but maybe Jordan is a little more selective and Teller just accepts most. He’s in a lot of mediocre films these days. That’s me trying to think positively anyway.

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  3. Carrie Rubin

    I hate how it sounds too, and I suspect it does indeed stem from a paucity of diverse roles in movies. It’s getting better, but it’s still moving at a glacial speed.

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  4. Liz A.

    There was something else Michael B Jordan was in that had a sci fi bent that was kind of interesting. Can’t recall the title now, but it was pretty good. At least, I thought it was pretty good.

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  5. Courtney Young

    All three of them are better than this movie. I’m really surprised they all agreed to it. Although Efron is the weakest link of the three, one of his greatest decisions was getting involved with Seth Rogen and choosing comedies over dramas.

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