A debut film can often act as a calling card in the industry. Even if it doesn’t find a huge audience, the right buzz can earn enough of a following to become a cult classic and lay the groundwork for bigger things. That, in a nutshell, is exactly what I anticipate will happen for Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp, who wrote and directed “First Date,” an incredibly fun and totally bonkers movie that premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.
Tyson Brown plays Mike, a shy high-schooler who has had a crush on a girl at school named Kelsey (Shelby Duclos) for a long time and finally decides to work up the nerve to ask her out.
The only problem? He doesn’t have a car. All he needs to do is get a decent ride and pick her up for a date. If it were that easy, we wouldn’t have a movie to enjoy!
Let’s say this: Mike is an unlucky guy. Aside from the fact that Kelsey wants to go out with him, there is very little else that goes his way. He buys a busted used car off the internet but, the original owners are desperately trying to get it back. Soon, a bunch of really, really bad guys is on the hunt to get it back.
A hot pursuit from criminals while on your first date isn’t an ideal scenario, but for the viewer, it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
This is also the feature film debut for both Brown and Duclos and the filmmakers really lucked out with their casting. As leads, they have great chemistry and are genuinely charming. Even as the story ramps up into sheer chaos, they ground everything in reality.
There is a heavy 90s influence on display (think “True Romance” and “Killing Zoe”) and, if you can handle the violence, this is an admittedly wild ride worth taking.