Remember the movie, Groundhog Day? Of course you do. It's wonderful. Bill Murray plays a man who, while reliving the same day over and over again, learns how to treat people better, make them happier, and in turn make himself happier. The movie, When We First Met is kind of like that except the jokes aren't as funny and the rules don't make sense and he sometimes flashes forward in time and it's a much worse movie.
Here's a quick overview of the plot. Noah (Adam Devine) loves his friend Avery (Alexandra Daddario), but she's engaged to Ethan (Robbie Amell). While drinking heavily out of sadness that he missed his chance with the girl of his dreams, Noah uses a magic photobooth to jump back in time to the night that he met Avery. His second chance with her goes well until it doesn't. Then he tries again and again and... you get the idea.
The premise is fun enough. I actually like the idea quite a bit. The issue is that the movie just has so many holes. The plot doesn't make sense when given even an ounce of thought. What are the rules of his time jumps? Are there any? Some things he remembers. Others he doesn't. There is no discernable plan behind it all, other than to reach for cheap laughs whenever possible. It seems like the writer didn't have a very clear vision of the world that he built. In other words, he butchered the Groundhog Day model.
I like Adam Devine. He has a likable aura in all his roles even when he does something unsavory. In this role, he goes for it in every scene, even when I'm sure he knew the line didn't work or didn't make sense. I commend him for his effort. He almost sold it at certain points, but he was severely held back by the script.
A lot of the jokes didn't land. Then they would come up again later, and they would not land again. It was a double-whammy of jokes bombing terribly.
The funniest scene in the movie comes when Noah visualizes the moment Avery met Ethan at a grocery store. I won't spoil it, but the image is good for a hearty chuckle.
A big problem with the movie is that I didn't quite believe a lot of it. With comedies, they work if I believe what is happening and they work if I know that I'm suspending my disbelief and laughing at how absurd things are. But when the events pose as rational but aren't quite there, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I can deal with the unbelievability of the time jumping, but I can't deal with inconsistently enforced rules within the time jumping. Even the ridiculous plot points need to be grounded in some form of rational thought.
On the positive side, I liked all the performers. I think any of them could fit in fine in a well-made movie. I'm not sure any one of them is capable of carrying a weak script, which is the challenge they faced here. I'd like to see all of them receive more opportunities.
Somehow, despite all my gripes, I still found myself caring about the ending. It's the best part. It's fairly predictable but handled just warmly and delicately enough that I couldn't complete hate the entire movie. I must be a sucker for romance or Adam Devine or both.
With that said, I don't recommend this movie. I suggest selecting any of a number of far superior romantic comedies that line the walls of Netflix and Amazon Prime.