First Date (2021)

First Date
Director: Manuel Crosby, Darren Knapp
Writer: Manuel Crosby, Darren Knapp
Cast: Tyson Brown, Shelby Duclos, Jesse Janzen, Nicole Berry, Samuel Ademola, Ryan Quinn Adams, Angela Barber, Dave Reimer, Scott E. Noble
Part of: SLASH Filmfestival
Seen on: 25.9.2021

Mike (Tyson Brown) has had a crush on Kelsey (Shelby Duclos) approximately forever, but he never dared to ask her out. With a llittle pressure from his best friend, he finally calls her at least – and Kelsey actually asks him out. Mike’s joy quickly deflates when he realizes that he can’t have his parents’ car, and how can he take her out without a car? Enter Plan B: Mike needs to buy a car, quickly and very cheaply. The internet provides and Mike finds Dennis (Scott E. Noble) who sells him an old car in rather bad shape. And with the car, Mike buys a whole lot of problems that turns this date night into a night to remember indeed.

First Date is a fun, entertaining film that works mostly because Mike and Kelsey work so very well. I really enjoyed it.

The film poster showing a rose, a car and a gun with plus signs between them, adding up to a kissing couple. Everything looks like its a neon light in different colors.

First Date doesn’t re-invent or revolutionize anything. The hapless guy way over his head in a dangerous situation is not a new trope. But when you execute a trope well, it can still show why it became a trope in the first place – and that’s certainly what First Date manages. The plot may take one or two detours too many, but it never goes too far and never grows boring.

A huge reason for this, and generally for why the film works are Mike and Kelsey. Not only are they supercute as a couple, they also each work as characters on their own. And Brown and Duclos bring them wonderfully to life. They are the heart and soul of the film, and make the film so very loveable.

Mike (Tyson Brown) holding on tightly to the steering wheel of his car.

There are also a couple of supporting characters that really worked for me – above all Seargeant Davis (Nicole Berry) who felt like a very fresh take on a police officer (with the many, many police officers that populate fiction, that’s quite a feat) and Mike’s parents (NJ Brown, Keldamuzik) who are just equal parts awful and great.

In short, First Date is entertaining popcorn cinema with a romantic core buried under a bit of blood and chaos. Or as I like to call it, a damn good time.

Kelsey (Shelby Duclos) sitting in the car, smilling.

Summarizing: warm and funny.

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