Folks. It’s been a while. Working in college athletics and being at a basketball centric school has deeply hampered my availability to watch movies. I haven’t sat down and watched a movie since the middle of February (cue the sad violin music).

This a trip back to a movie I watched upon its initial release on Netflix back on February, 9.

When We First Met (2018) is a Netflix original romantic-comedy that has more than a few recognizable faces: Adam DeVine of Comedy Central’s Workaholics and the Pitch Perfect (2012), Shelley Henning of MTV’s Teen Wolf, and Unfriended (2015), Robbie Amell of ABC’s Revenge and The Babysitter (2017), and Alexandra Daddario of HBO’s True Detective and San Andreas (2015). These core four make up a group of friends of which we the viewers see very different versions of.

The film centers around Noah, played by Devine, and his undying love for Avery, portrayed by Daddario. Unfortunately, in a situation familiar to many, he is friend zoned to the umpteenth degree. Through the magic of time traveling photo booth, Noah has a chance to go back the first time he met is ultimate crush and try and rewrite his own romantic history.

With a crazy premise and a cast that is recognizable, When We First Met is a quintessential Netflix and chill date movie. It has enough witty dialogue to earn some chuckles. There are some cringe-worthy awkward moments followed by enough purposely (or so it seems) over-acted coming of understanding moments.

Devine carries When We First Met to the highest level it can reach. His facial expressions and timing are enjoyable even if the movie as a whole falls short of a truly touching mark. While his acting style was expected, the standout is Henning playing Avery’s best friend, Carrie. It’s her sarcasm and charism-altering changes between timeline swaps that are most compelling. None of the characters are truly deep, but if I’m being candid, Henning just brings a bit more depth than the other personalities.

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Also, for the fans of Robbie Amell, he has his contractually mandated shirtless scene.

When We First Met is directed by Ari Sandel and it’s is the first film since The DUFF (2015). I was supremely impressed by The DUFF when I first saw it, and while this latest film from Sandel shares the same shooting styles and pacing, When We First Met can’t help but fall a bit short of modest expectations.

Is When We First Met a bad viewing experience? No. Is When We First Met a movie I’d recommend to many? No. But if you need a small 90-minute respite and a solidly entertaining rom-com, this flick can do the trick.

STANKO RATING: C

 

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