When We First Met: Reviewed

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Photo Courtesy of Netflix

By Zoe Huettl

If you’ve watched enough rom-coms, you might dismiss Netflix’s When We First Met as just another gotta-get-the-girl movie. It seems that way from the start--Adam Devine (of ‘Pitch Perfect’ fame) looks like your classic friend-zoned nerd to Alexandra Diddario’s dream girl with a time-traveling photo booth thrown in for good measure. While the careful viewer might be able to guess most of the plot from the blurb, Devine’s dorky comedy paired with director Ari Sandel’s fresh approach to the genre make for a unique, fun movie.

The plot is pure Lifetime movie, but with a key twist on convention. By situating Adam Devine at the center of a conventionally female-seeking-male genre, When We First Met is able to play with many of the cliches of the genre while being in on the joke. Devine’s humor gives each time-travel a few memorable lines, lightening the (easily boring) Groundhog Day loop. These lines, helped by some stellar editing that somehow manages to keep the same few days feeling new and different, elevate When We First Met beyond Netflix’s standard rom-com. It does lean on Devine’s musical talents and utters the unfortunate line, “You like jazz?” not once but twice, but its faults don’t dim a sweet, interesting twist on what should be a classic girl’s night staple.  

FilmSteven Norwalk