Noah spends the perfect first night with Avery, the girl of his dreams, but gets relegated to the friend zone. He spends the next three years wondering what went wrong - until he gets the ...
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High-achieving high-school senior Dani Barnes dreams of getting into UC Davis, the world's top veterinary school. Then a glamorous new friend draws her into a Southern California scene that threatens everything she's worked for.
Rosie and Alex have been best friends since they were 5, so they couldn't possibly be right for one another...or could they? When it comes to love, life and making the right choices, these two are their own worst enemies.
Noah spends the perfect first night with Avery, the girl of his dreams, but gets relegated to the friend zone. He spends the next three years wondering what went wrong - until he gets the unexpected chance to travel back in time and change that night - and his fate - over and over again.
A half-baked mashup of ideas that have been explored more skillfully and interestingly
"When We First Met" is a half-baked mashup of ideas that have been explored more skillfully and interestingly in "The Butterfly Effect," "Groundhog Day" and "Bedazzled." Whereas GD explored the male-centric notion that a man can conquer any woman's heart with determination, perseverance and a readiness to change through growth and maturation, WWFM assumes the female-centric view that there can be only one perfect match which is somehow divinely ordained and guided by destiny. The result is somewhat incoherent and nonsensical.
Adam Devine plays Noah, a somewhat nerdish underachiever with seemingly limitless potential, who is smitten by überbabe Avery (Alexandra Daddario), whose underutilization in this film borders on the criminal. Not only is she given so little to do that her sentiments are often expressed by BFF Carrie (Shelley Hennig), but, in chickflick fashion, she is dressed so modestly, save for a hint of cleavage, that one wonders if the actress has become pregnant and is dressed in body-comatose (if that's the antonym of body-conscious) outfits to disguise a growing baby bump.
Noah, through no fault of his own, has been consigned by Avery to the infuriatingly inescapable friend zone. Through some fortuitous divine intervention, he is repeatedly whisked back in time to the fateful day when he blew whatever chance he thinks he might have had with Avery and given several opportunities to change his game plan. He manages to capture her body, but not her heart, while causing substantial collateral damage in other areas of his life, but is whisked back to the present with no memory of whatever sexual ecstasy they may have shared.
Performances are generally good, although Devine and Daddario are hampered by an unimaginative script. Henning delivers a varied and interesting performance, reacting to different permutations of Devine's character. Andrew Bachelor channels Eddie Murphy as Noah's best friend. Production values are adequate to the task.
However, while occasionally amusing, I never found the film laugh-out-loud funny. The film takes itself too seriously to be funny. Noah's efforts to escape the friend zone are treated as something bordering on rape mentality. He never enjoys his time with Avery or much of anything else in his alternate realities. He suffers because he can't have Avery, then suffers because having Avery's body but not her soul doesn't live up to his fantasy. Where's the humor in that?
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