When you’re an aspiring filmmaker and your dad is the guy who wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi as well as wrote and directed a string of hit films in the 80’s, then you know all about expectation. This is the type of pressure to perform, normally reserved for obese people’s belt buckles.
So when Jon Kasdan, son of Hollywood stalwart Lawrence Kasdan, made a decent writing and directorial debut 6 years ago with In the Land of Women, he crossed a major hurdle. Now he’s back with his sophomore effort and he’s definitely starting to look like a chip off the old block.
Dave (O’Brien) is a high school senior who spends most of his time pining away over a girl he can’t have. Aubrey (Robertson), a junior with artistic aspirations, has a hot boyfriend who doesn’t quite understand her or seem to care. Then Dave and Aubrey meet one night at a party. A casual conversation sparks an instant connection, and, over the course of a weekend, things turn magical, romantic, complicated and funny as Aubrey and Dave discover what it’s like to fall in love for the first time. Director/screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan skillfully captures a moment of adolescence that rings resolutely true.
The First Time played at SundanceFilm Festival earlier in the year, and received pretty favourable reviews with words such as “earnest” and “heartfelt” being thrown around. Receiving particular praise was the believability of the characters, with many drawing parallels between this and Richard Linklater’s famed Before Sunrise. Both observations are not surprising as Kasdan has apparently drawn from experiences in his own life for the dramedy, and was also influenced quite a bit by Linklater’s work.
While The First Time doesn’t really boast many faces that are too well known, unless you watch a lot of Nickelodeon and recognize Victoria Justice, Kasdan’s In the Land of Women also starred an at the time relatively unknown young lady by the name of Kristen Stewart. She of course went on to turn scowling and grimacing into a mulitmillion dollar industry, so imagine what somebody with a bit more talent could achieve?
Last Updated: October 2, 2012