Thanks to VA, I’ve added a few more pictures from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival including twitter pictures. Also below are a few reviews of the “The First TIme“. I’m so happy that it’s getting such good reviews!
*** (three stars)
Jonathan Kasdan’s “The First Time” is, by design, “a very John Hughes-ian romantic comedy,” as the director put it. And it is indeed a lot like one of those great ’80s teen movies updated for the 21st century.
Dylan O’Brien stars as Dave, a high school senior who pines for Jane (Victoria Justice). But he’s not cool enough for her.
One Friday night, Dave meets Aubrey (Britt Robertson), and over the next two days the initially awkward pair fall in love. Culminating, 43 hours after they meet, with them having their “first time.” And it doesn’t exactly go well.
“The First Time” perfectly captures the awkwardness of being a teenager. It’s funny, it’s heartfelt and the perfomances are great. It’s a bit talky at times, but then so are teenagers.
It’s hard not to be won over by “The First Time,” though, since TV vets Britt Robertson (“The Secret Circle”) and Dylan O’Brien (“Teen Wolf”) are so utterly charming. Robertson, in particular, brings a brainy-pixie vibe that reminded me of the late, great Adrienne Shelley in those early Hal Hartley movies.
As for O’Brien, he’s certainly charismatic, but he’s tough to buy as the nerdy sensitive-guy (who another character actually calls “average-looking”) when he could clearly be an underwear model. Nonetheless, the two actors click as slightly-eccentric adolescents who feel like real people, even if they don’t always talk like them.
Still, even if Kasdan bobbles the dialogue, he gets a lot of high school life just right, from messy keggers to Saturday night at the multiplex to the difference between calling a girl on her cell versus calling her parents’ number. Teenagers are probably likely to be way more forgiving of the beyond-their-years sophistication of the witty chat, and they might even make “The First Time” a hit.
“Coming from television . . . the process of rehearsing and developing the characters [was] amazing,” O’Brien said. “This experience is different from any experience I’ve had,” added the actor, who is making his first major film appearance.
A handful of stars have successfully made the transition from the small to the big screen — Michelle Williams, Blake Lively and Shia LaBeouf, to name a few. But the shift is challenging for many young TV stars, with most teen soaps and comedies not exactly helping actors forge a diverse skill set. And even those who do it successfully can take a long time getting there; witness Williams’ turns in gems like “Halloween: H20” before she became an Oscar contender.
The trio of “First Time” actors–all between the ages of 18 and 21–showed a little of their inexperience when they came on stage after the screening. Justice, who no doubt has done her fair share of press as a Nick star, was the most animated, cheerily recounting anecdotes from the set. But Robertson and O’Brien appeared less comfortable, rolling on the balls of their feet and passing off the microphone to other cast members on a few occasions instead of answering questions themselves.
“First Time” is seeking a U.S. buyer, and though the comedy isn’t broad enough to merit a studio acquisition–“American Pie” this ain’t–the movie’s charm could be enough to land it a midsize deal and release.