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When We First Met - for the 100th time!

I am not sure how Jack Black managed to transport his speech pattern and mannerisms into another actor, but he does seem to have possessed Adam DeVine. This film is enjoyable, despite the ending being obvious before the end of the first act. The plot and story are familiar and basic, with some nice little moralistic statements thrown in as standard.

It is not the most intellectual of films and does not require any kind of commitment from the audience, but that gives it a subtle innocence that makes it easy to watch. The most interesting aspect to this film is those precious moments when Adam DeVine stops impersonating Jack Black and shows he has genuine talent. I think the actor will go on to far better achievements and this film will be long forgotten.

Essentially this story is about a boy standing in front of a girl, over and over again, trying to make her love him! In 2014 Noah met the girl of his dreams, but then failed to 'seal the deal' and she moved on to someone else. Thanks to a magic photo booth Noah is able to travel back to 2014 and mess up that night again, and again, and again....Yes it is THAT ridiculous! With each photo-rendering time leap Noah tries to be a different version of himself, but still it ends in failure.

The main issue is that it is clear so quickly that Noah is actually going to end up with Carrie. This renders all the groundhog day moments annoying and frustrating. Even more frustrating though is that there is actually no on-screen chemistry between Noah and Carrie, so when they end up together it just feels so redundant. When this film was finally over I kept reaching for the phone as I felt in need of help from the Samaritans! I am pleased to report that, like this film, I am over it now.

There are some good moments of comedy, mostly form Adam DeVine and Shelley Hennig who are the stand out cast members in a lackluster script. If you want a film to be in the background of a gathering that will give a few giggles, then this is one of those films. Like an episode of Eastenders you can dip in and out of this film and still get a complete sense of what's happening.

Rating; 5/12

Tone & Theme Analysis – When We First Met. For Master’s Degree – Falmouth University

This is perhaps the easiest dissection since frogs were introduced to science classrooms in schools. Thematically this film constantly asks the question, should you have to change your entire self to achieve the love of others? Thankfully it ends up saying a big no and that being your self will give you your ultimate happiness. The golden nugget in this film though is the notion that sometimes what we think we want is actually not what we need! We have all been blinded by our stubbornness and denial, if we learnt to take a breath and look with clarity then we may discover something bigger and better for our lives.

In terms of tone this is a comedy, almost. Often the plot becomes farcical and superficial but there is one or two frames that echo self affirmation and have some authentic touches on being your self and accepting your own life. With an almighty early morning style stretch, you could also find tones of a coming of age drama. Noah, arguably, becomes a stronger and happier individual when he stops pretending and lets people love him for who he truly is.

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