Ebola is on the front page of USA Today, Blueberry Red Bull hasn’t been invented yet, and Avery is still free to be manipulated into falling in love.
Somewhere, in the vast time between those two epiphanies, you might stop wondering why you’re watching this movie on Netflix, and start wondering why you’re watching it at all.
Then you’ll remember that you’re watching it because it’s on Netflix, and just like that it will all make sense: Netflix can only release films that nobody else would because Netflix subscribers will watch films that nobody else could.
Nobody else would release “The Cloverfield Paradox” because it’s the kind of bland, incompetent science-fiction that makes people resent paying for a ticket.
And nobody else would release “When We First Met,” because it’s the kind of vaguely passable entertainment that wants points just for existing; a high-concept, low-reward comedy made with the same degree of ambivalence that the average Netflix user will bring to it when they stumble across the movie after 20 minutes of aimless scrolling. Yes, because what the world needs now is another movie about a guy violating every rule of the space-time continuum just to convince a resistant girl to have sex with him.
A rusty vehicle for “Workaholics” star Adam De Vine, “When We First Met” is essentially “Groundhog Day,” but instead of being about a dude who’s stuck in time, it’s about a dude who’s stuck in… Movies take a while to make, so it’s hard to blame director Ari Sandel (“The Duff”) for not reading the room, but Netflix has already proven that it’s never too late to just throw in a Cloverfield monster whenever things aren’t working. Anyway, our story begins on November 1, 2017, when Noah Ashby (De Vine) shows up to Avery Martin’s (Alexandra Daddario) engagement party.
We’re led to believe that these two chipper kids are getting married to each other, a long flashback walking us through the night they first met.
Fans of De Vine’s exuberant brand of sarcasm might enjoy seeing his “scrunched, insecure Van Wilder” shtick take center stage, but the actor has done so much solid work (“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” “Pitch Perfect”) that only the diehards should bother.
For the rest of you, the movie probably won’t be able to survive the realization that Noah is so narcissistic that he’s wasting a golden opportunity to negate the last few years of our sick, sad world.
No, all he does is try to manipulate a nice stranger — who is openly excited to have a new male friend in her life — into spreading her legs for him.
It’ll take you roughly five minutes to realize that Noah is going about things the wrong way; it’ll take him more than 90.
At a time when more traditional outfits like Disney and Warner Bros.