#Film Review: Netflix’s When We First Met (2018)

Director: Ari Sandel

Rating: 1/5

This new film on Netflix looked promising since it involves time traveling, but it ended up disappointing me.

The film starts with Noah (Adam Devine) attending an engagement party of Avery (AlexandraDaddario) and getting drunk because he lost his chance to become her boyfriend and the love of her life when he first met her. We then get to see how they met and what happened. He wishes he could go back and change things and when he sits in a photo booth to take a photo like he did with Avery the first night they met, he ends up time traveling to the day when they actually met and thus gets a second chance with her.

He tries to correct his mistake and become her boyfriend but we get to see that things do not go easy. For one, he already knows too much about her and instead of asking questions ends up narrating her likes and dislikes. Thus, she and her roommate conclude he is a stalker and assault him. He then goes back through time and does the whole thing again. After lots of ups and downs he gets what he wanted only to realise this was not meant to be so he travels through time to be with whom he was actually supposed to be…

There is indeed lot of time traveling and changed circumstances due to time travel, which normally interests me. However, the problem with this film is that from one point we have a message telling us that we cannot escape from destiny, which should be fulfilled. On the other hand, we also have many moments meant to be funny. Thus the film aims to be both serious and funny, and as a consequence it turns out to be neither.

The film also incredibly reminded me of a film ‘About Time’, which also tackled time travelling and love but in that it had a good message and some moving scenes (see here).

Nevertheless, the story of doing things differently if being able to go back to the past is well covered in many different films. For example, Christmas film Holiday Joy also has this aspect and this is not the only film that has it. There is also a film that brilliantly portrayed reliving life and correcting mistakes but in a meaningful way. It’s ‘Before I Fall’ and I blogged about it here.

Perhaps this film would be better if it did not involve constant waking up and doing things all over again, which we have seen many times before. Then it would not inevitably bring flashes to other films. In the present state, I really can’t say that watching this film was an enjoyable experience despite time traveling element.

Thank you for reading.


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