By Johnathan Bonham.
Admittedly, I was kind of excited when I first saw that this was getting released on Netflix. For one, I’m a huge fan of Netflix original movie releases. I get the experience of a brand new movie release, and don’t even have to leave my living room. That’s pretty hard to beat. Having said that, I’d say for the most part a lot of the Netflix original movies aren’t very high quality. I did think that Beasts of No Nation was a very well done film. It was depressing and brutal, but a great movie nonetheless tha t paints a real picture of world issues. I felt pretty confident going in that between Cary Fukunaga directing and Idris Elba starring that it would be a hit, and I’d have to say I was right (humble, I know). Any who, going into this particular movie, by no means was I expecting anything near the quality of Beasts of No Nation. Honestly, I was expecting an average and forgettable romcom, and guess what? I was right again.
Another big reason for my initial excitement was Adam Devine starring in it. I’ve been a fan of his since Workaholics, so I was glad to see him pull in a leading role on Netflix. The film also stars Alexandra Daddario, who I’m not quite sure how I feel about. I thought that she was good in True Detective although she had a relatively small part, and I never saw San Andreas, despite my love for ‘The Rock.’ The next thing I distinctly remember her from is Baywatch, which was virtually unwatchable. I certainly don’t blame that on her, it was a complete mess of a movie with a cringeworthy screenplay. After watching When We First Met, I have to say that the jury is still out on Daddario.
The film begins at a Halloween party where Noah (Devine) and Avery (Daddario) first meet. They have an amazing night together, and then the film flashes forward three years later. Avery is at her engagement party, and we come to find out that she is not with Noah. The day after the Halloween party, Avery had met Ethan (Robbie Amell) and the rest was history. Despite this, Noah is still head over heels in love and can’t move past it. Noah drunkenly winds up at his favorite bar after the party where he travels back in time via a magical photo booth to the day that he first met Avery. From here he keeps to try over and over to get their first meeting right so they can wind up together. After he relives the night, he wakes up in present day each time and his future has been altered. Noah continues to try and try again, but in the end, he might find that trying to force fate is not always the right course.
The movie started off pretty rocky for me. The writing felt weak and the lines were forcibly delivered by Devine and Daddario. I was at the point where I was ready to turn it off, but I decided to continue trucking through it (and I didn’t really have anything else to watch). Over time I think the writing and delivery improved (or I just grew immune to it), and the movie started to flow and feel less forced. The plot as a whole is undoubtedly cliched and nothing that you haven’t seen before. I will say that the wa y the movie ended wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, so that was refreshing. There are a few good one liners throughout that had me laughing, so by no means do I regret having watched this. If you have the time and are in the mood for a light-hearted, mindless, “love prevails” type of movie, then give this a watch. I won’t say that it’s a must-watch by any means, but if you’re a Devine fan, there’s a certain amount of appreciation you’ll find for the movie.
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