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Thursday, April 15, 2021

Now streaming: When We First Met (M)

Luke McWilliams gives his review of the 2018 romantic comedy, When We First Met, starring Adam Devine and Alexandra Daddario.

Noah (Adam Devine) meets and falls in love with Avery (Alexandra Daddario) at a Halloween party, although Avery considers him ‘just’ a friend. Flash forward three years later, the ‘friend-zoned’ Noah gets extremally drunk at Avery’s engagement party.  Avery’s fiancé Ethan (Robbie Amell) takes Noah home where he accidentally travels back in time to when the duo first met!

Traditionally, romantic comedies involve the protagonist pursuing and ‘winning’ the person of their dreams through comedic manipulation involving situational comedy. The subject of our protagonists’ affections is on a pedestal, and it is usually through their change of heart that they ‘select’ the protagonist after a heart-wrenching speech in the third act. The Graduate and Say Anything both worked to establish this formula, so much so that the ending of Pretty in Pink had to be altered to accommodate it. It was When Harry Met Sally that broke the mould by asking the question: can men and women ever truly just be friends?

Noah refuses to accept ‘just’ a friendship with the woman he loves, so he continually revisits the day they first met ala Groundhog Day to crack the code in getting Avery to reciprocate his feelings. Avery’s best friend and roommate Carrie (Shelley Hennig) is dubious of Noah in all timelines, serving as his sounding board and voice of reason when Noah repeatedly finds Avery naturally gravitating towards Ethan.

Verdict: A humorous and grounded approach to a well-trodden genre. 3.5 stars.

When We First Met is streaming on Netflix.

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