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(Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was for a poem addressing our future state, which, of course, is rather hard to predict.)

 

The Present Me’s aware of things the Past Me would have wished he knew,
So Present Me is wondering if Future Me has secrets too.
The Future Me will only say that joys, regrets, and shocks await,
But will not pity Present Me enough to just elaborate.
And that is why the Present Me won’t bother with the Future Me
Until the one becomes the other simply through maturity.
______________________

MPAA rating: TV-14 (a.k.a. PG-13)

I’m always partial to movies featuring time travel, so I couldn’t resist checking out this Netflix film that echoes Groundhog Day. What I’m not partial to is lead actor Adam DeVine, who I greatly disliked as the self-absorbed Bumper in the first Pitch Perfect (he was a little better in the second), but When We First Met revealed his surprisingly likable side.

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DeVine plays Noah Ashby, who grieves the engagement of his crush Avery (Alexandra Daddario) and her pretty boy fiancé Ethan (Robbie Amell). He reminisces of how he first met Avery at a Halloween party three years earlier, only to be relegated to the friend zone. After some drunken moping, Noah enters a photo booth from their first date and finds himself three years in the past with another chance at a first impression, which takes a few tries to get right, as you may imagine.

There are definite similarities to Groundhog Day in the way Noah replays the same events at the party and uses the knowledge he gains from the repeated do-overs, but one original aspect is that he then gets to see how the changes to the timeline play out, since he then jumps ahead three years to see the unintended consequences. It’s a clever concept with some inconsistencies in execution and logic, but the cast and humor go a long way in making it work, with DeVine boasting everyman appeal and Daddario being unnaturally gorgeous.

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Unfortunately, even the good elements are inconsistent. One section in the middle where Noah tries the jerk boyfriend approach became embarrassingly unfunny and just reminded me of how much I disliked DeVine as Bumper. Yet it then bounced back to end on a sweet note that some may call predictable but still kept me invested. When We First Met is unlikely to become a perennial favorite like Groundhog Day, but it’s not a bad variation on the time travel tropes I so enjoy.

Best line: (Noah’s friend Max, with a sentiment I only half agree with) “Things happen for no reason at all, but they create opportunities.”

 

Rank: Honorable Mention

 

© 2018 S.G. Liput
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