First Impression (2018) – Summary, Review (with Spoilers)

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First Impression is a bargain bin movie which is corny, may not have the best plot but is nonetheless enjoyable.


Director(s) Arthur Muhammad
Screenplay By Regis Le’Bron
Date Released 10/26/2018
Genre(s) Romance
Good If You Like Simple Romances Without Much Drama
Isn’t For You If You Want Something Engaging Without Plot Holes & Underdeveloped Characters
Noted Cast
Vernon Lamman Rucker
J Kendrick Cross
Tropical Storm Laila Odom
Scorpion Kiss Brad James
Imani Lisa Arrindell Anderson
Sister Renee Tamela Mann
Pastor Johnson David Mann
Tryanna Dawnisa Halfkenny
Kym Elise Neal
T Thomas Mikal Ford
C Carl Anthony Payne II
James Mason Kel Mitchell

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First Impression Plot Summary

Vernon (Lamman Rucker), after being laid off and living with his friend J (Kendrick Cross), seems to just pour himself into writing a spy romance featuring Tropical Storm (Laila Odom) and Scorpion Kiss (Brad James). Two characters which we end up learning represent Vernon and his love interest Imani (Lisa Arrindell Anderson). Someone who is a successful owner of a Black book publishing company.

Leading to us watching as Vernon/ Scorpion Kiss tries to woo Imani/ Tropical Storm and make the kind of first impression that could inspire a love which lasts a lifetime.

 

Highlights

Vernon and Imani Are Adorkable

While the film has its faults, there is no denying Rucker and Anderson are cute together. There is this innocence between them that you don’t too often see and it makes it so their pursuit of one another is of the ilk of high school sweethearts. Also, taking note of how awkward with love both are, especially Vernon, and it reminds you that there can be more to love and courting than simply acting as the build-up to sex. Sometimes, having lunch in the park, laughing with that person, that’s everything. That is what makes you fall in love and when it comes to sex and all that, that just interest on top of your initial investment.

Criticism

The Sister Renee, Pastor Johnson, and Tryanna’s Storylines Go Nowhere

Sister Renee (Tamela Mann) and Pastor Johnson (David Mann) are built into the script to appear like we’re going to see something or it will go somewhere, but it doesn’t. She talks about him writing poetry, he takes a meeting with Imani, Sister Renee sings in choir, and then we don’t see either character ever again. Then when it comes to Tryanna (Dawnisha Halfkenny), you may believe she would be seen online dating, maybe show how it is from a younger point of view, but that doesn’t happen. She becomes a rather small part that ultimately goes nowhere.

On The Fence

The Comedy Is Weak & Story Is Bland

The comedy here is either over the top in the form of Kym (Elise Neal) or due to Martin alumni T (Thomas Mikal Ford) and C (Carl Anthony Payne II) in the film, you are left waiting for that funny moment. Heck, with the inclusion of James Mason (Kel Mitchell) you may even think he may bring a few jokes, but nope – he’s playing someone serious. And it is a shame that we didn’t get any notable comedy since the storyline is bland. For on top of there being no real conflict, even in terms of what we’re used to in romance movies, no one is written to have depth.

Take Imani, for example, while we see her do some online dating, her desire for companionship isn’t developed. She is just a woman dating on auto-pilot, giving men chances. And despite how much Kym doesn’t like Imani’s relationship with her dog, they don’t develop why that dog is so important to Imani’s life. The dog is just around and nothing more.

The same can be said with so many other characters. Why is Vernon online dating? Is it just to come up with material for his book – which we see is directly influenced by his relationship with Imani? Add in what happens with Sister Renee, Pastor Johnson, and Tryanna, and it makes this film seem like a student capstone project done out of love.

Overall: Mixed (Divisive)

Available on Netflix

While Vernon and Imani are cute together, everything else about First Impression is very rocky. Multiple characters aren’t developed, their storylines end barely halfway into the movie, or you feel things are just so bland that you can’t take this film serious at all. Hence why this is being given the mixed label. First Impression doesn’t make a good first impression and instead barely skates by on its likable leads.

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