When We First met is a Netflix original directed by Ari Sandel about a guy named Noah finds a magic photo booth that allows him to travel back in time to the night he might his crush Avery. Everyone tells Noah to move on, but his obsession has him repeating the same night trying to fix destiny where he and Avery can be together. As movies of this genre go, you get a glimpse of how his decisions of his life impact his future until he finds the reality he likes. You don’t really need to much background, you already know the plot to this movie.
This was a hard sit. It wasn’t so much the plot, but rather the awkward execution that makes watching this movie a chore. As I’ve stated before, Netflix has become the new direct to VHS genre producing generic material just for the sake of filling up it’s virtual library with content. The plot is generic. The acting is bad. Although the movies definitely look nice compared to the direct to VHS junk we got stuck with. Netflix has yet to impress me with an original movie and this movie was terrible.
The movie starts off promising. The first night Noah and Avery is cute. This sequence makes Noah seem charming and the relationship seems plausible. We instantly learn that there are two sides and where Noah saw love, Avery only saw friendship. It becomes incredibly hard to sit through as Noah’s obsession becomes creepy. They call him a stalker a couple of times and I don’t think stalker is a strong enough word. Adam Devine’s interactions with all the characters are just so awkward. Noah is so desperate for Avery to fall in love that he goes to great lengths to get it which is in itself manualize and creepy. The movie even starts off by telling Noah that he should move on because there is nothing there. I wish the movie would have ended it at that, but no you have to wait an hour and a half for him to realize this and it sucks.
I have a huge problem with Noah’s character because his obsession makes him scary. You don’t want Noah to succeed because of how creepy he is. I couldn’t figure out why anyone liked Noah in the first place since he doesn’t seem to have any redeeming factor or reason for being in the group. The movie is constantly trying to tell you that Noah is a good guy but he doesn’t ever show it. If you want Noah to be a good guy, have him show it. Have people feel bad at least and want him to find love, but his actions don’t merit any kind of reward. In the end, Noah doesn’t learn anything from this experience. These movies work because after all the time travel and seeing all the possibilities, the characters learn something about their life. Noah by the end of the movie is still creepy Noah. There is no growth, there is no lesson, just Noah.
Like other Netflix movies, this one tries it’s hardest to be deep, but the message is so obvious and generic it doesn’t work. It’ll spend a long time explaining obvious symbols. They actually name drop the movie in the first sequence. I am honestly surprised this movie isn’t called Photobooth. I think they missed the mark on that one.
In closing, this one was bad. Skip this. Rate it a thumbs down. It doesn’t work as a comedy. It doesn’t work as time travel movie. It doesn’t work as a movie. I give this a 0 out of 10 because there is nothing in this movie worth seeing.