When We First Met (2018)
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Critic Reviews for When We First Met
It'll take you roughly five minutes to realize that Noah is going about things the wrong way; it'll take him more than 90.
It's like being at a crowded restaurant and eavesdropping on the same bad first date over and over and over again. You'd probably want to move tables.
The potentially problematic premise is narrowly sidestepped because the film zigs when you expect it to zag... This watered-down rom-com doesn't fully deliver but it's a diverting twist on the genre nonetheless.
Romantic comedy vets will be able to figure out the ending early on. While it's predictable, the destination eventually makes the journey worthwhile and rewarding.
There are consistent genre conventions that appear throughout the runtime, but When We First Met manages to smoothly come together in the end with its romantic notions of fate and destiny.
Audience Reviews for When We First Met
The time concept has been done over and over but this is still a very fun flick. The biggest issue the film has is the balancing of humour and romance, the filmmakers stay between the two. DeVine is the star here and the rest of the cast have very little to work with, films like this have supporting cast that are provided next to nothing. Netflix needs to be careful with the films they are purchasing as this was a very run of the mill film that was only purchased on the backend of DeVine's current exposure. A film to pass the time but nothing more. 28-03-2018.
These Groundhog Day-esque movies are a dime a dozen and, realistically speaking, Groundhog Day already did better than anyone else have even come close to. And, off the top of my head, I can't come up with any, I really can't. The problem these movies inherently have is that it feels like they're repeating the same movie as Groundhog Day with only minor changes in the set-up that gets them stuck in this time loop. I saw one that the day restarted with the lead character waking up from a wet dream with his lines clearly stained with semen. The methods change, but the story are almost always the same. There's this South Korean movie thriller, called A Day, that seems to add a new twist in that TWO people are stuck in the same time loop. That's literally the only thing that they can do that would be a bit of a twist on that concept. Hell, it's such a tired concept that Netflix has TWO original movies using this concept under their umbrella. Naked, which came out last year, and now this one. And that's not to mention if there are any others that they have available to stream. Honestly, I don't think I was really expecting this movie to be that good, but I just wanted something a little lighter. I almost settled on Cars 3, but I honestly just wasn't feeling it at all. As much as I love Pixar, I'm not that big of a fan of the Cars franchise (Cars 2 was dreadful) and even though I hear the third movie is a massive improvement over the previous flick, this just screams Pixar B-team, where they made a movie just to make a few bucks off of the merchandise, and not because there was a real story to justify another sequel. I know I'll watch it eventually, but I just wasn't interested in it yesterday. Then I went for Sleeping with Other People, but I wasn't feeling that either, so I settled on this. Say what you will about the guy, but I like Adam Devine. I'm not exactly sure if this is the role I would imagine for him when you mention his name to me, but I do like the guy. I think he excels at movies where he has to play these guys that think they're hot shit, but they're really just an asshole. He excels at those roles. Like if he had been taller and blonde and born in the 60s, he would have made an amazing 80s asshole in any one of the many teen comedies from the era. When he has to play a character that you're actually meant to root for, not that he can't play one, it's just that he shouldn't play one. In all honesty, I found his character to be a bit obnoxious in this movie and this is a characteristic that he's used in the past to some success. Noah being obnoxious isn't exactly the best character trait for your lead protagonist, particularly considering that no matter what he does and no matter how many times he goes back in time through this photo booth, Ethan and Avery always end up together. I mean why do you keep going back in time and trying different approaches that maybe, but not really, might get Avery to legitimately choose you over the 'competition'. And that's what the movie really is about, at its core. Sometimes, no matter what you do or how many times you try to change things, fate (if you believe in that), will always find a way. I'm certain that the 'one that got away' is a real thing that many people suffer through and, if they got the chance, they'd probably try to do things differently. Like, for example, I never said anything to my first crush, and I had a crush on this girl for four years. It wasn't really a secret among any of my schoolmates, hell I think my crush even knew, but who knows what would have happened if I had said anything to her. I doubt there would have been anything long-term, but that is a regret I have. Would I go back and do things differently? I don't know, I don't think we would have been that compatible, but it's something you think about when there's nothing to do. The film explores that but, again, it's about realizing that sometimes, as much as you might want them and as much as one person might seem like your dream guy/gal, it's just not meant to be. That's neither here nor there and it's a moral that I've seen done plenty of times before and there's nothing about the way this movie does it that's fresh or exciting. Perhaps one of the things I did like about this, and it's a slight variation on the concept, is that Noah goes back in time to the night of the Halloween party in 2014. Whatever happens at the party happens and he wakes up on November 1st three years later to live with the consequences of his actions on that fateful night in 2014. It's not like it's much, but I liked that little twist on the concept. It still plays out like you'd expect, but it's something slightly different. In one of the scenarios, Noah is scene as a stalker given that he knows too much about Avery without actually having met her. In another scenario he's a total asshole and Avery is just his fuck buddy. In the biggest scenario yet, Noah has everything. A dream job, a dream house and his dream girl. But, naturally, Avery, even if they've been together for years at this point, doesn't love him. This scenario where everything is perfect for Noah ends up being the death knell for this movie, because it just drags so much. They could have made their point in half the time. This is also the segment where Noah realizes who he's really meant to be with and it's as sudden as it is completely predictable. You could see that the movie was headed down that route, but they way they got there was so haphazardly. This is probably less than 30 minutes before the movie ends and I thought that they would have teased it a little more subtly at first, maybe earlier on in the movie. But they make it so obvious and it's so poorly handled that it just doesn't work. If they had been smarter about it, they would have dropped teases here and there that made you actually want to see Noah and ***SPOILERS*** Carrie together. But nope, they just have one little throwaway line that's something like 'I like talking to you' and then Noah agrees with Carrie, they look at each other before moving on. And, again, this comes so close to the end of the movie that seeing Noah and Carrie together by the end is completely unsatisfying. It doesn't feel like I truly invested in these two people enough for them to give me this big, romantic ending where Noah finally gets the woman that he really, truly loves. And perhaps THE biggest fault in this movie's arsenal of them has to be the fact that it is just not that funny. There's a few chuckles, but the comedy in this movie just doesn't come across as natural in any way, shape or form. I don't know what it is about, but it's like this movie is really trying its hardest to make you laugh and yet it comes up with absolutely nothing of value. Or anything that you would call memorable, at least. The most memorable scene in my mind has to be when Carrie tells Noah not to touch Avery (in the stalker segment) and she says 'Don't touch her, asshole!' except that she doesn't actually pause after saying 'her' and Noah turns around, perplexed, and asks 'Don't touch her asshole?'. That's it, that's the only joke that I can recall. This is like really early on in the fucking movie and I saw this in two sittings. I finished watching it like 90 minutes ago. I started watching last night before I shut it off to take a nap. And I remember a joke from when I started watching last night. That should tell you something about the quality, or lack thereof, of the comedy. Now that I think about it, there was very little about this movie that I liked. I mean casting is solid, but the characterization and character development leaves a lot to be desired, concept is played out, no laughs, poor pacing and execution means that I can't really say that this was a good movie. The end credits are 'cute', I guess, with photos of Carrie and Noah as a couple being shown. That's just not enough. I was going to say that this was watchable and fine if you have 100 minutes to kill. It's watchable in that you can get through it just fine, without wanting to pull your hair out. But, going over it in this review, I can say that I didn't really like this at all. It's a bad movie, it's not Sandler bad, but it just doesn't offer anything fresh to either the time loop subgenre or rom-coms. If you really need to watch one of these, just do yourself a favor and watch Groundhog Day instead, you'll thank me for it. PS: And this is for RottenTomatoes/Flixster, since this is actually my 99th review for Letterboxd, but this is my 2400th review for RT/Flixster. Well, my Flixster app says 2400 and the RottenTomatoes website says 2987 ratings. There's a disparity of almost 600 ratings from the app to the website. I don't know what's wrong. Since Flixster is no longer available as a website, I have no way to verify what the real number is, but I'd say that RottenTomatoes is closer to the real account. I say this because Backtrack, an middle-of-the-road thriller, was my 2600th review and I saw that well over a year ago. So there's definitely a couple of ratings missing from the RottenTomatoes website, given that I'm sure I've seen more than 387 since Backtrack. Either way, I wonder why there's such a huge disparity between the Flixster app and the actual numbers. Fuck my life. It is what it is and this diatribe was for my own sanity. Continue on with your lives. Oh and don't watch this movie, unless you really love Alexandra Daddario and, really, who doesn't? Even then, she's still not enough to recommend this.
Netflix has been known to pick up independent comedies fairly often, and while I'm not opposed to a good quirky comedy, none of them have really stood out on their streaming service. That being said, When We First Met has been released unto the world recently, and it's probably one of the better ones in the genre, as far as their original content goes. When going into this movie having only seen a brief trailer that they released, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I surprisingly got a comedy that's a nice mixture of elements from movies like Back to the Future and Groundhog Day. No, there's no reality in which I would compare When We First Met to classics like that, but take the plot of those films and apply it to a romantic comedy and that's pretty much what you get. This is about as average as you can possibly get in terms of originality, but hey, I had fun with this movie. Following Noah (Adam Devine) as he meets the girl that he's destined to be with on Halloween back in 2014, this is a doomed romance that will only result in friendship for him. After being given the opportunity to travel back in time and alter reality as many times as he likes, he works very hard to make her his wife. This may not exactly work out for him, but the different scenarios that blossom from each of his decisions are funny to watch and the conclusion of the film does send a nice message. By the time this film had reached its climax, I was sold, even if it was just average throughout its entire duration. I think my mind was changed due to the fact that I enjoyed this cast so much. When it comes to quirky comedies, your film's pretty much doomed if your cast isn't completely present with their performances. To add to that statement, I was never a huge fan of Adam Devine when he first came into the spotlight a while ago. With his performances in the television show Workaholics to his appearances in the Pitch Perfect films, I found myself quite annoyed by his overacting. That being said, I have grown to enjoy him in movies nowadays and When We First Met is just another addition to his filmography that continues to win me over. He, along with Alexandra Daddario, Shelley Hennig, and Robbie Amell, all add quite a bit of fun through their performances, even though none of them were all that noteworthy. This is a film that surprised me in terms of comedy because I found myself laughing throughout the majority of this movie. Mind you, most of the jokes were juvenile, but for every joke that didn't work, I was latching onto the development of each of these characters. As I said, there's nothing to love about this film as a whole, but I'd be shocked if this cast didn't at least win you over during the dull or repetitive aspects to this movie. In the end, this is just a solid cast, in an average movie, elevated by funny dialogue and nice character progression. When We First Met is a neat premise, but it's been done many times in the past, so originality is already out the window upon first viewing. Netflix still hasn't hit their stride with feature films, but I'd say that this film's definitely moving them in the proper direction. When We First Met won't ever win a single award, nor does it deserve to, but the messages and the overall outcome is worth watching, at least for some viewers. If you have nothing better to do, there are far worse movies to watch.
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