Monday, April 28, 2014
THE FIRST TIME (2012)
Written & Directed By: Jonathan Kasdan
Cinematography By: Rhet Bear
Editor: Hugh Ross
Cast: Britt Robertson, Dylan O’Brien, Craig Roberts, Joshua Malina, Christine Taylor, Victoria Justice, Lamarcus Tinker
A romantic comedy centered on the two high schoolers: Dave, who until now has pined for a girl he can't have, and Aubrey, a creative type who's dating a guy who doesn't quite understand her.
I Liked the premise of the film. While it takes a look at the teen romantic movie genre differently by not sensationalizing it. To me it fails but I can admit I'm not exactly the audience for the film. So maybe it works on a different wave length, but I ask who is the proper audience for this film?
I can give the film points for trying something different more of an intellectual approach to a teen romance. So much that the film feels too self aware and seems to be more like an adults dissertation on teen films by having the characters say exactly their feelings and even their fears, while letting any and everyone in on their thoughts. As it seems maybe social edits had made it o.k. to share every little thought with no filter. It reminds me of DAWSON's CREEK
The film feels like a fantasy version of teenagers where most are eloquent and deep beyond their year. Just making impetuous decisions that show their age and made to feel deeper because of their youth and immediacy of emotions where as tomorrow is so yesterday.
I don't know if it's an older person looking back on his youth and wishing this is how it went or a fantasy version using what he thinks teenagers really new when they talk deep down by don't have the vocabulary yet to verbalize it. It just seems like an intellectual dissertation. Which also makes it feel inauthentic.
While romantic it felt like the dialogue wasn't felt and natural from the actors. It felt performed nor necessarily believably. I know films are about acting and perception to a point. You just never believe in any of the characters. Though the actors have chemistry.
Think of the film as a teenage version of BEFORE SUNRISE as it takes place over a weekend really and concerns only out lead characters for the most part. While we watch their slow romance that happens rather quickly. Though I. BEFORE SUNRISE it was only the main characters as they were reeling and knew no one so they were kind of friendly forced together and found romance and love. Here they interact with friends, crushes, boyfriends who give advice and set-up scenes, but really are just settings or background for the main characters. Also BEFORE SUNRISE is a classic which this film is not so while not as well made, Think if Woody Allen made a teen film.
This film is more like a play with multiple locations. I really wanted to like it. It just Came off as artificial.
I believe director Jonathan Kasdan has talent and offers a unique look, but hasn't quite found his stride yet.
I actually really enjoyed the cast. They all have bright futures. It's just that the film has a strange tone and seems offbeat. So that it feels like a chore sitting through it.
Lead actor Dylan O'brien who I am a fan of from TEEN WOLF the series has a quick witty sensative style hat reminded me of the director's previous film's star Adam Brody
I knew things looks bad for this film when the opening song was so bad and in memorable. the beginning credit sequence is enjoyable as it sets the film up to be the typical teen party and reckless, but that is all you see of it in The story. The rest is purely drama and performance. It is mildly humorous that these characters are meant by the script to he so deep and soulful it came off more as fooling themselves like preferring wine over beer at 16.
Maybe I'm just an old fuddy Duddy maybe this film is actually an experiment meant to be read as deeper as they all put on performances and try to be intellectual and somewhat soulful, but can't hide urges and can't find themselves still looking so that what they show is all performance I impress though not really them. When not on when they have to be real and intimate with one another. Which mocha be why actress Britt Robertson's character always keeps talking and philosophizing talking every thought and emotion out and her opinion on random subjects.