I thought I’d sworn off anything and everything that boasted of Adam Devine in a major role, what after that major turkey he’d turned in with Zac Efron as brothers out of control in the is-that-really-a-comedy Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates. I know, my fault for watching that on Blu-Ray.
But then I had some NetFlix time while my dear wife Karen was on her Florida getaway with Georgia to visit Chris, and the New Release row boasted of the service’s very-own film When We First Met.
What the heck.
So the actor I used to really like in the TV sitcom Modern Family plays a dorky guy looking for love, what else. We see him as Noah, in a frat-house-like costume party running into a woman named Avery. Her League of Their Own character (yes, he thinks she is, by the way) seems to go for his piano-playing when he scoots her out of their to the bar where he works as a piano man. The night seems to be going very well. But then he gets friend-zoned, and we see him broken-hearted as she’s about to marry another guy.
One cheap movie trick leads to another as this become, first, a Time Travel movie as Noah discovers he can go back to that first night by visiting a special photo booth. It’s like Groundhog Day, but he’s doing it on purpose, trying to get the story to end just the way he envisions.
But it’s a buddy movie, too, as he and Avery become pals in some of these versions, and even the guy he’s fighting for her affections turns out OK.
And an aw-shucks love story as her best friend, Carrie, continually saves Noah’s bacon and at last catches his eye.
Before I knew it, the whole dang 97 minutes had ended, and director Ari Sandel and writer John Whittington’s NetFlix flick had given Devine a vehicle that let him not be truly despicable. The gang was way easier to stomach than that piece of junk a couple of years prior.
Still silly, yes. But not obnoxious, no.