“Using a magical photobooth that sends him back in time, Noah relives the night he met Avery over and over, trying to persuade her to fall for him.” This introduction itself, on Netflix, can make two types of impressions: “sounds interesting / cute” (watch), or “no thanks” (don’t watch). The movie sits somewhere in the middle.
The poster here is missing probably the best performer of the movie – Shelley Hennig, playing Carrie, Avery’s (Alexandra Daddario) best friend. Avery is the love interest of the protagonist – Noah, played by Adam DeVine. Noah meets Avery at a Halloween party. They talk, go to the place where Noah works as a pianist, go to Avery’s place and by this time Noah has fallen in love (I’d say gotten infatuated). As he leans forward for a kiss at the end of their night, he gets a warm and friendly hug. And the plot (of whatever is there) begins.
We are introduced to Noah at Avery’s engagement with Ethan (Robert Amell), where he gets sad and drunk, and is helped by Carrie to a bar where he sees his friend, Max (Andrew Bachelor), and the flashbacks begin. The first meeting of Avery and Noah at the Halloween party was 3 years ago, and at the end of their night, when he gets a hug, we see scenes of explosions and destruction going on in Noah’s mind representing the falling apart of dreams, which is one of the few comic moments of the movie. This is memorable, not because it is that good, but because there are few such scenes in the movie. Another one was when Carrie smashed a vase on Noah’s head. For most of the time during this Rom-Com movie – Romance? What? Comedy? Where?
After being friend-zoned, Noah keeps travelling back in time and trying different methods of getting Avery to fall in love with him – a I know so much about you stalker (this is where the vase smashing happens), a douche bag, a white collar workaholic (for lack of better words), etc. The movie, although relying so much on this idea as to not put much thought into its characters, has exploited the concept neither better not more often.
During each of his time-travels, he would wake up after 3 years upon going through the first day they met, and he would have no clues as to what happened during the 3 years. Why? And in his “workaholic” travel, he would suddenly speak Chinese (which is comic), but how? Let’s say it’s procedural memory. Then how does he remember everyone’s names? And how does he remember the 3 years in his last travel?
The performance was not very convincing, partly because the characters were not detailed and lacked depth. The story lacks a proper journey. Besides, exaggeration and insecurity do not always translate to comedy. There is nothing new here. One notable thing was the lighting in the movie, which was a treat to eyes while watching the movie, which seems abruptly long for its short length.
But the movie is not a complete disaster. Despite all its shortcomings, the fact that there is nothing new and that some tried approached have been used, translates this to a good background movie. You may be getting something done, or engaged in some activity in a group, and you’d like something to be played in the background, this can be it. Or you are tired after pointless scrolling on Netflix for a while and you just need to watch something, it is there.