WEIRDLAND: "American Honey" (Shia Labeouf), "That Awkward Moment" (Miles Teller)

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"American Honey" (Shia Labeouf), "That Awkward Moment" (Miles Teller)

Andrea Arnold’s first US feature, American Honey (2016), a meandering road trip film about a ragtag crew of traveling teens selling magazine subscriptions. Centering all of this is a quiet, but impressively commanding performance from Sasha Lane as Star, who manages a complex emotional range as a young woman with nothing to lose, tagging alone mostly due to an attraction and fascination with Shia LaBeouf’s showboating lead ‘salesman.’ They have a believable chemistry together, and LaBeouf’s frequent rages gives the intense performer a believable palette, even if his presence automatically marks the film as a target for easy derision. Source:

Shia Labeouf: "I come from hippies. My generation will actually be the first generation that is tamer than the one that came before it, and it will probably be poorer; less fun and less money. It's ridiculous. In my parents' generation, rebellion was pop culture. It's not anymore."

When Star (Sasha Lane) meets a gaggle of similarly disaffected young misfits at the aforementioned Walmart, she’s immediately drawn to their smirkingly charismatic leader Jake (Shia LaBeouf, sporting his own ratty braid and facial piercings), a kind of enigmatic Pied Piper for the douche-bro generation. Despite the apparent stunt casting of LaBeouf — who easily delivers his best performance here, bleeding the eccentricities of his own celebrity persona into the character to fascinating, oddly moving effect — the film never slips away from Star’s evolving point of view, or Lane’s electric presence. Source:

That Awkward Moment plays with the clichĂ© of pricks being princes in need of a princess. The movie is going for a kind of Taming of the Douche. Miles Teller plays the most maladroit of the three characters. He softens the misogyny by treating it as something less galling. When a gentleman comes on to the friend (Mackenzie Davis) his character will spend the rest of the movie secretly sleeping with, he says, “You can tame her with tequila and compliments.” Teller is also unusual looking yet happens to be a better, handsomer actor who can give the offensiveness a psychological changeup. Rogen and Hill project. Teller performs. Source:

Miles Teller is glad he didn't end up like Shia LaBeouf. "People tell me I've had a quick ascension into this business. But for me, when I was in college, I was looking at Shia LaBeouf," the 27-year-old actor told the Salt Lake Tribune. "I used to say that I needed to get a 'Disturbia' and then I'll be in the biz and I'll kind of be 'the other Shia' - the next guy. But I'm glad it went the way it's went. I've been able to work on some studio films and some really good independent films."

Teller once again insisted that he makes no money doing indies. Teller is determined to build a strong movie-making resume, he explained. "At the end of the day, I just feel like I want to be a step ahead of... not the critics, the perception. I have a pretty wide taste," the "Whiplash" star said. Source:

Tom Gormican: -I feel like that’s just been ingrained in our American, Teddy Rooseveltian mindset, where you’re not supposed to talk about your emotions. Maybe it’s a product of our English heritage or something, but it has made it’s way into popular culture. What I wanted to do was a romantic comedy where the guys are actually normal dudes, and they have conversations about what to do in their relationships with women, especially when they really like them. It vibes like this intentional jack-assery by these guys, and I just wanted it to be about guys who are making bad decisions because they're not fully adults yet.

AIC: I think the big reveal here in "That Awkward Moment" is that men are just as susceptible to emotional attachment as women, whether they admit it or not. That’s something of a revelation in the movie world. Was that one of the things you dug about the film was that it revealed that horribly kept secret?

Miles Teller: I think that guys will appreciate it. In your 20s, really this movie is a heightened focus on the moment that’s between college and when you get married, and it’s that time is one of self discovery. If you don’t have kids and you don’t have a wife, these are really times when you can put yourself first. And you do see these guys struggling with that, with not wanting to necessarily be occupied with a relationship. But when your heart is leading you in a certain way, you can't fight it. I know I’ve had experiences where I was fighting it because I knew the girl was really right for me. I knew she might be the one that I really end up with. So, I think you see three guys grappling with that. Source:

Miles Teller: "I still have feelings for all of my ex-girlfriends. In different parts of my life, I would miss that person. There's something that drew me to that person, and I shared something with them."

An emerging body of research has recently demonstrated that romantic-partner ideals are important within established romantic relationships. For example, romantic partners who idealize one another are less likely to break up, and participants report greater satisfaction with their present relationship to the extent that their partner matches their ideals. Although the present report casts some doubt on the notion that mate preferences serve the function of mate selection, this extant research on ideals suggests that mate preferences may instead serve the function of mate retention. Although this selection/retention distinction is surely not a strict dichotomy, it allows for the possibility that at moments of deliberative choice during the course of one’s relationship (e.g., whether to marry one’s partner), an individual might compare his or her partner to a set of ideal preferences and decide whether or not the relationship is worth continuing. First, studies that have examined the role of partner ideals in established romantic relationships typically assess participants’ ideals after they are already in a relationship. Although it would certainly be difficult to assess ideals before participants meet a long-term romantic partner, such a procedure would avoid the problem of participants’ ideals becoming “contaminated” by the characteristics of a current partner. In fact, one recent study indeed found that participants changed their ideals such that they placed more importance on the positive characteristics of their current romantic partner, even after dating for only a few months. Source:

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