The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
With man-child overkill at a crisis point in films and TV shows, any mainstream bro-com focusing on three attractive guys who aren't leftovers from "The Hangover" or second-stringers from the Apatow buffoon brigade is a relief. There might still be a place for Zach Galifianakis's unkempt insouciance, but it is nice to see that leading men who hold grown-up jobs and occasionally practice hygiene are making a comeback.
At the very least, the makers of "That Awkward Moment" should get credit for savvy casting, as the opening minutes of this surface-slick slice of post-college life among young male Manhattanites invitingly suggests. With Zac Efron still transitioning from his "High School Musical" teenybopper-dom, it was wise to match him with two talented stars on the rise, Michael B. Jordan of "Fruitvale Station" and Miles Teller of "The Spectacular Now" (of course, some of us have been on the Teller train ever since "Rabbit Hole" and his Willard in the "Footloose" remake).
With Efron as glib alpha male Jason, Jordan as straight man Mikey, and Teller as jokey sidekick Daniel, this bunch initially seems fun hang with. They do boy talk with brash aplomb, drink abundantly with no ill effects, enjoy the kind of hip-chic living quarters that they couldn't possibly afford (known as "Friends" syndrome) and can make a decent running gag out of how white people don't know who Morris Chestnut is. You might question Daniel's presumptuous need to hand out Viagra like breath mints to his pals as they head out on the prowl, but it does lead to one the movie's best sight gags.
But it doesn't take long—somewhere between Jason pronouncing how he hates it when a casual bedroom partner suddenly asks where their relationship is going (hence, the "moment" of the title) and Mikey learning that his cheating wife wants a divorce—before it becomes clear that this will be just another rehash of an all-too-familiar manly meme: Commitment-phobes who seek one-night stands without strings yet somehow end up getting tangled in amour.