THAT AWKWARD Conversation

The cast and crew discuss the one word that changes everything in a relationship.

The one word that can instantly stop an amorous young man in his tracks, says director Tom Gormican, is the word "so," because it's often the immediate precursor to the awkward moment of the movie's title.

"The 'so' question usually comes at a crossroads in a relationship," says Gormican. "In the beginning, there's some ambiguity. People are hooking up, seeing people, dating people. At some point, the conversation happens. In the movie, as the guys say, nothing good ever follows the word 'so.'"

Or as Efron puts it: "It's at the beginning of every uncomfortable question that implies that commitment is imminent: 'So, where is this going? So, what are we doing? So, is this a relationship? So, are we dating?' It's the first step down that road."

Poots will debate whether or not the fear only applies to men. "The movie explores that idea in a lovely way," says Poots. "It is funny, but it's also important. To me, it's really brave for a guy or a girl to decide to find out what they're getting into in an open and forthright way. One half of a couple wants to know if this is going to get more serious or not."

And Jordan agrees that it goes both ways in real life. "We've all had 'so' moments," he says. "Both guys and girls will see this movie and say, I've been there."

For Teller, once you start to talk about feelings, everything changes. Suddenly, nothing is laidback or casual. "The more you want to see a person, the more you're going to see a person. Then, it gets to the point where they're the only person that you want to see. Maybe you start to feel like you're in a little too deep and you're not looking to be. Someone's feelings are going to get hurt. Somebody always cares more about the other person. For Jason and Daniel, that's normally time to phase her out."

With a few years distance, Gormican blames what he calls "the tyranny of choice," after a book by the same name. "The idea behind the book is that the more choices we have, the less satisfied we are with the choices we make," he says. "If you apply that to the dating world, you see that with Facebook and other kinds of social media, the choices seem endless. Everything is available to you. New York can be like the live version of that. Everyone you know lives within two or three square miles of you. How do you settle down? Why would you want to when there are always ten other options on your phone?"

Efron hopes many people will find the situation relatable, especially the friendship between Mikey, Daniel and Jason. "There's a lot of humor in this, even though the situations are absolutely real. I think this movie is a chance for girls to see a whole different side to guys like this. They have good hearts and the best intentions, but it's sometimes hard for them to handle. I don't really know if we've ever seen it before in a film."

"I think guys will it find very relatable," says Gormican. "It's been a long time since I've really seen a movie where male friendships are depicted in a close and sincere way Hopefully they'll see it because they find the idea of guys avoiding relationships funny, but there's so much more going on."

Poots agrees the appeal will be universal. "The film balances humor with heartfelt emotion," she says. "Girls will also recognize things in the film that they've experienced themselves. I can relate to the storyline, not just as a girl, but also in terms of what all of the characters are going through. The idea of post-college life and your first job, your first relationship, and the ways your friendships are changing is universal. The geography of your life is shifting. All of those elements are in the film."