‘First Date’ Review (Sundance Film Festival 2021)

Courtesy of Sundance

We all have a first date at some point in our lives and we remember that feeling we would get — some type of queasiness from being so nervous about going out with the person of your dreams. That’s what I hoped ‘First Date’ would make me remember, but it really doesn’t make me remember anything good at all. Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp struggle with balancing the tones of Romantic Comedy and a regular Comedy. With their Direction, they fail at having the actors feel as if they’re in the same movie. Some times the Antagonists of the movie will randomly start screaming and spitting all over the place for whatever reason, certain characters will act one way for half the film and jump to a totally different performance in the next half.

Tyson Brown as Mike in ‘First Date’

Sadly almost everyone is miscast in their roles. Tyson Brown and Shelby Duclos share little to no on-screen chemistry, which, unfortunately, should’ve been the highlight. Crosby and Knapp can’t seem to figure out whether they want to follow Mike on his first date or become another ‘Superbad’ in the meaning of focusing on mostly every character, instead of having a lead or two. I found myself actively going against Mike going on a date with Kelsey, because they set her up to be this powerful and strong 17-year-old girl who is a jerk to guys other than Mike that look like your stereotypical jock but are fleshed out to be a guy that wants to go on a date with Kelsey for real and treat her right, but because this is a movie about Mike and Kelsey, Kelsey and Chet couldn’t happen, whether that’s what I might’ve preferred or not.

I sat down in anticipation for a new coming-of-age teen Rom-Com but stood up wishing the film brought something new in an overly crowded genre. I think there’s an audience out there that will appreciate this movie, but I couldn’t wait for this date to be over. ‘First Date’ will be available later in 2021. I give ‘First Date’ a 5.3/10

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