Saturday, February 10, 2018

When We First Met: Movie Review

Funny and cute.
A time travelling romantic comedy with shades of Groundhog Day and The Lake House. The fact that When We First Met doesn’t just immediately drive itself off a cliff is a mark of success in and of itself. That’s mostly thanks to the comedy of Adam Devine and the rest of the main cast. As romantic comedies go, the romance element is fairly predictable (trust me, it could have been a lot worse), but the film sticks to the comedy of the simple premise. 2018

Directed by: Ari Sandel

Screenplay by: John Whittington

Starring: Adam Devine, Alexandra Daddario

Present day is November 2017, Avery (Alexandra Daddario) is engaged and she’s telling her guests about the day she met her true love. Flashback to Halloween 2014 and a perfect first date for Avery and Noah (Adam Devine). Problem is Noah is not her true love, that date was just perfect for him, and three years later he’s drunk and miserable that his crush is marrying somebody else.

WHEN WE FIRST MET, courtesy of Netflix. Photo credit: Jami Saunders
Through the use of a magical time machine photo booth, Noah can relive that day and figure out how to make it perfect so he can be the one to marry Avery. That’s basically the entire plot, and most of the comedy comes through the use of Devine recognizing that he can time travel and interacting with everybody else who has no clue he has such abilities, and of course doesn’t believe him if he tries explaining it. They either think he’s a stalker or he’s crazy, or one guy at the end who just went along with it because that’s just Noah being Noah.

Noah only made a handful of trips back in time – always opting for one big change before ultimately realizing his true destiny. Each trip back had many jokes associated with it. In one attempt, Noah wakes up in this ridiculous leather outfit and frosted tips, takes a look in the mirror and exclaims “I went full asshole”. You see, he only meant to go part asshole. Devine pulls off those remarks with ease and made Noah a very easy character to laugh at.

There’s also a consistency to When We First Met which was really nice to see. Every trip back and change Noah makes, of course impacts somebody else, but how it impacts them, and how Noah responds to it, is very consistent with how the characters were introduced. There are five main characters, all five have unique and recognizable character traits, and all very enjoyable in their own way.

The simplicity of When We First Met really helps the movie out. It’s funny and cute without ever insisting that it’s anything more than that.