Sundance is usually where you can find little gems, that you might normally miss and First Date is one of those. Debuting there at last years festival, First Date has a certain charm that makes it one of those gems that you might like to seek out.
Shy high schooler Mike (Tyson Brown) finally summons the courage to ask out his badass neighbour Kelsey (Shelby Duclos) only to realise he’s missing a key element for a successful date – a car. Panicked and low on cash, he’s conned into buying a beat up ‘65 Chrysler. Mike’s plan to win over Kelsey soon turns into a surreal misadventure when they are they find themselves at the mercy of two cops, a criminal gang, and a vengeful cat lady. A night fuelled by desire, bullets, and burning rubber makes any other first date seem like a walk in the park.
Despite having a somewhat chaotic storytelling, First Date directors Manuel Crosby & Darren Knapp manage to just about hold it together for this to be a quite enjoyable caper movie. First Date is somewhat like Friday if it was directed by Quentin Tarantino. It doesn’t quite achieve the humour level it thinks it does, but all the younger members of the cast are terrific and have you rooting for them, throughout.
First Date falters when it comes to the final third, opening with some great establishing story with the young characters, simply decency into a confusing shootout, where a lot happens with little lead in or explanation for the most part. The main story (Mike trying to get to his date with Kelsey) simply dissipates as they become bystanders in the carnage that unfolds between all the converging elements (The police, drugs running gang and the buyers) and it loses it’s way. First Date would have been so much better if the drugs and money had been more of a sub plot and the emphasis had been on the two charismatic leads Brown and Duclos instead.
Overall, First Date won’t be too memorable, but it is enjoyable for the most part without out staying it’s welcome. It’s also a great launching platform for Tyson Brown and Shelby Duclos which we hope that we will see more from in the future. A decent coming of age, caper movie if there is such a thing, that has high spots in the young cast, but also will test your patience with the final third storytelling.
First Date is released by 101 Films on Digital from 17th January