What’s more frustrating than watching a film that has all the elements to be great, but doesn’t know how to keep it all together and thus kinda goes nowhere. First Date has that problem.
When a young guy (Tyson Brown in his feature film debut) finally takes the big step to ask out the girl (Shelby Duclos, also in her feature film debut) he’s secretly had a crush on for a while, he does his best to impress her. But while getting ready for the most exciting evening in his life, things are about to take a turn for the worse. Without knowing, he’s just purchased an old car filled with drugs. What was supposed to be just a cute first date, turns into a night full of near death experiences, shootings, car chases, and angry drug addicts.
Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp’s crime comedy has some genuinely great moments, a promising rather unknown cast and fast pacing. But somehow all of this isn’t enough to save First Date. There seems to be a problem with the writing and overambitious excitement of the filmmakers. Trying to do too much is never a good thing. It’s admirable, but it won’t help your movie to be memorable. Especially when the runtime isn’t much longer than your typical comedy but you get the feeling it’s been dragging for hours. Don’t show all your cards at once.
Brown’s performance is naturally toned down and fits the character perfectly. Whenever he then suddenly shows emotion it’s entertaining to witness this shift in appearance. He is the beating heart within this overloaded bunch of talent. Everyone is trying to leave a lasting impression, which at a certain point becomes rather exhausting.
First Date is fun until it isn’t anymore. I’ll definitely keep this directors duo in mind, because you can’t deny they’re eager and excited to make it far in the movie business.
Magnet Releasing will release FIRST DATE everywhere July 2nd, 2021
Review – First Date
Reviewed online (screener provided by publicist), June 26, 2021. Rating: TBC. Running Time: 103 min.
PRODUCTION: (USA) A Magnet Releasing release of a Visit Films, Cinexus Pictures production. Producers: Manuel Crosby, Charles Horak, Darren Knapp, Brandon Kraus, Lucky McKee. Executive producers: Dara Bazzano, LK, Robson Longwell, Christian Milner.
CREW: Directors/writers: Manuel Crosby, Darren Knapp. Cinematography: Manuel Crosby. Editing: Manuel Crosby, Zach Passero. Music: Manuel Crosby, Kevin Kentera, Noah Lowdermilk.
CAST: Tyson Brown, Shelby Duclos, Jesse Janzen, Nicole Berry, Samuel Ademola, Ryan Quinn Adams, Angela Barber, Scott Noble, Leah Finity, Graham Green.