Tyson Brown and Shelby Duclos appear in First Date by Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp, an official selection of the NEXT section at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Courtesy of Sundance Institute | photo by Manuel Crosby.
All Mike wanted was a date with Kelsey. He’s had a crush on her since 8th grade, at minimum, and while he may not have a car, or a lot of things other guys who talk to Kelsey have, unlike them, he can have a silly conversation with her. Hence, she makes the move to ask him out, but picking her up without a car is a challenge. Thus Mike goes on a wild adventure that begins as soon as he gets the car, and he finds himself being chased down by cops, drug dealers, and a trigger-happy woman looking for her husband.
Things To Note | Question(s) Left Unanswered
Reason(s) for Film Rating: A lot of gun violence, drug use, vulgar language, sexual situations, and people getting murdered.
Jump Scares/ Laughs/ Tear-Jerking Moments: From Mike’s best friend to the crazy wife and so much more, you will laugh throughout.
There is a mid-credits scene
Cast & Characters
Please Note: This is not an exhaustive list of every cast member.
High school-aged Michael is just a chill dude. On top of that, he’s someone his parents can trust enough to throw a party, since they doubt anyone would come. But with the opportunity to go on a date with Kelsey, we’ll see him be bolder than ever before.
Kelsey is the kind of girl who is a bit rough around the edges and could whoop most people’s ass since her workout is boxing and other fighting techniques. However, like many girls, she just wants to find someone she can talk to, have fun with, even make out with from time to time, without them doing or saying something stupid. Hence, Michael seems like he could be a good dude, for while he does say the occasional stupid thing, it is more so because he is shy and awkward than a douche.
In many ways, Officer Davis is Michael’s saving grace. She keeps Mike from getting a ticket, arrested, and seems invested in him getting to have his first date. However, there is only so much a person can do when Mike keeps courting trouble.
While You’ll Barely Know A Single Characters Name, You’ll Remember How They Made You Laugh
Though for most movies, this would be a criticism, with First Date, we don’t necessarily mind the fact it is really difficult to name the majority of the characters. Why? Because, while you can’t name them, most do or say something which leads you to be able to explain them. Be it the woman with the trucker hat who carried the shotgun, the wife who was real trigger happy, or the Black cop who kept giving Mike a hard time.
Yes, it does kind of stink that you barely hear anyone’s name to identify them, but the way they make you laugh keeps them in your memory and make them a welcome presence when they pop back up on the screen.
Just Enough Effort Was Made For You To Care About Mike and Kelsey’s Potential Relationship
First Date is just that for Mike and Kelsey, so there isn’t a heavy amount of romance to make you swoon and want the two together. However, it is established they have chemistry, can have banter, and despite Mike being a little awkward, Kelsey likes that. In fact, her teasing him and Mike being able to take a joke is part of why she seems to like him. He doesn’t take things too seriously and can offer an escape from her life. And it’s always nice to see when the girl is getting more out of the deal and taking the initiative when the guy is clearly shy.
One of our favorites was Officer Davis when it comes to the people who make Mike’s day go left. Of her tag-team duo, she came off as the sensible one, the nice one, the kind of cop you wished more would be. For rather than give Mike a ticket when pulling him over, she lets him off with a warning. When Mike is in a very compromising situation, in which he could easily be blamed for what happened, she doesn’t see him as the perpetrator and lets him go. Which makes you seeing her when she gets into shoot ’em up cop mode a shocker and such a treat.
The Gun Fight
What is a movie with a drug cartel, dealers, and cops, without a shoot out? Well, when it comes to first date, the strangely long scene (in a good way) is one of the funniest and most violent moments, and you’ll appreciate it so much. For whether it is how it starts, with Kelsey showing she can whoop anyone’s ass, to how it ends, with a car chase, it pushes you to wonder if more indie films have action scenes like this, but you just never gave them a chance to find out?
You Want A Sequel
While there is but a very slim way they could do a sequel, you’ll want one. For the way Crosby and Knapp made First Date, while it has an indie, low-budget vibe, it is without the actors you can see learning on the job or special effects you are forced to forgive due to budget constraints. Thus giving you just enough grit for chaotic moments to feel real, but just enough polish for them to not seem cheaply done.
And considering there is so much more that can be done with Mike, and his friends and family, as well as Kelsey and her parents, a sequel can be done. It may take adding a few new characters and a load of escalation, but no matter what it takes, you’ll want it, claim you need it and will ask for it – repeatedly.
First Date makes you hope you get a second one for even with us barely getting the name of most characters and mostly identifying them by their antics and looks, each one leaves an impact. They make you laugh, give a side-eye, and just do what films are supposed to do – entertain you. Hence the positive label and recommendation.
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While You'll Barely Know A Single Characters Name, You'll Remember How They Made You Laugh - 82%
Just Enough Effort Was Made For You To Care About Mike and Kelsey's Potential Relationship - 83%
Officer Davis - 86%
The Gun Fight - 87%
You Want A Sequel - 85%
First Date makes you hope you get a second one for even with us barely getting the name of most characters and mostly identifying them by their antics and looks, each one leaves an impact. They make you laugh, give a side-eye, and just do what films are supposed to do – entertain you.