The Dickinsonian

Let’s Get Reel: When We First Met

Lauren Toneatto ’21, Life & Style Columnist

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Stepping into a photo booth lasts longer than simply taking four photos in When We First Met, a Netflix original film. With an all-star cast and quirky plot, this is the perfect movie to watch on a weekend with friends.

Noah (Adam Devine) meets Avery (Alexandra Daddario) on Halloween. He thinks they’ve hit it off immediately: they’re laughing at each other’s jokes, telling childhood stories and the conversations seems to never end. In Noah’s opinion, their night together goes from good to great; but, when he finally makes a move and leans in for a kiss, he realizes Avery has very different feelings towards him than he does towards her. Ultimately, Noah is friend zoned.

However, Noah regains hope once he learns about the magical powers of a photo booth they used earlier that night. With the newly-found ability to time travel, Noah goes back in time over-and-over again trying to make Avery fall madly in love with him.

When We First Met isn’t a totally original idea, drawing from movies such as Back to the Future and Groundhog Day; however, but that doesn’t mean the film isn’t still enjoyable to watch. With Adam Devine as the lead, comedy takes center stage, emphasizing the humorous aspect of a romantic- comedy. What makes this film successful comedy-wise is Carrie’s (Shelley Hennig) opposition to Noah’s character. Carrie is one to watch. She starts off as a very minor character, Avery’s roommate; yet soon enough, she becomes a breakthrough role in the film. Her dry sense of humor and “take everything with a grain of salt” attitude surprisingly complements Noah’s over-the-top attempts to woo Avery. This makes their minimal moments together in the beginning of the film some of the most enjoyable in the entire movie.

Unsurprisingly, Noah has to make several time-traveling attempts to win Avery’s heart. This repetition provides the perfect comedic scenario. Noah will re-do Halloween night, but have to wait until the next morning when he wakes up to see the damage his past changes made to reality. To Noah’s dismay, but to viewers’ benefit, oftentimes Noah doesn’t wake to the outcome he desires.

Another element that makes this movie a fun Friday night flick is Avery’s other suitor. Ethan (Robbie Amell) is the literal embodiment of tall, dark and handsome. He’s charming and certainly easy on the eyes. This dichotomy further emphasizes the simple romantic- comedy template When We First Met utilizes. Seeing Noah up against Ethan further emphasizes Noah’s struggles to woo a girl he thinks he’s meant to be with. Between the repetition of the overused trope of the hot guy vs. the nerd, When We First Met doesn’t necessarily gain points in the originality department; but hey, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.

Overall, this Netflix film is funny for what it is. If it were in theaters, I wouldn’t recommend racing out and spending $13 to see it. However, considering it’s on Netflix and you are able to view it at your leisure, it’s definitely a worth-while movie. It has all the elements for an effective rom-com, and what more could you ask for after a stressful school week?

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Let’s Get Reel: When We First Met