"Tainted Teenage Romance"
What You Need To Know:
THE FIRST TIME at first implies that teenage chastity is preferred, but that positive message goes out the window fairly quickly. Thus, the movie inexplicably has the teenagers falling into the very behavior they’ve criticized. This message is particularly destructive because the movie takes its appealing young leads so seriously, and the actors are genuinely talented. This also makes it likelier young audiences will be more susceptible to the movie’s abhorrent message. THE FIRST TIME also contains some strong foul language and underage alcohol abuse.
(RoRoRo, LL, V, SS, NN, AA, MM) Very strong Romantic worldview; 21 obscenities and profanities (including one “f” word); scene shows that a jeep filled with drunk teens who were laughing about drunk driving the night before winds up flipped upside down, with an implication that the kids were seriously injured or killed, leading the two teenage lead characters to be emotionally distraught; frequent discussion of sex, with much of the dialogue opposed to teenage promiscuity, but this is contradicted by implied fornication between the teenage lead characters, with passionate kissing by the teenagers in bed, plus a crowded teenage party shows teenagers kissing in corners and one scene has a reference to condom use and condom breaking; upper male nudity and partial nudity when several topless teenage girls hiding their breasts with their hands run from a sudden police raid; teenage alcohol use and drunkenness, but the two lead characters speak against it; and, female protagonist is mildly disrespectful to her parents and male lead sneaks into girl’s bedroom, accidentally falls asleep, and then has to jump from her roof the next morning to avoid being seen by her parents.
THE FIRST TIME is a teenage romantic drama. At first, the movie implies that teenage chastity is preferred, but that positive message goes out the window fairly quickly.
The story follows Aubrey and Dave. Aubrey sees Dave working on trying to convince another girl that he loves her. When the raucous teenage party they’re at is abruptly ended by police, Dave and Aubrey take a long walk through their town to her home. During the walk, they discover they have much in common that sets them apart from their peers. They each claim they are above the idea of promiscuous sex, and are portrayed as intelligent, well-rounded people with good personal goals and dreams. Despite this, Aubrey invites him to stay for a while. They accidentally fall asleep holding one another on her bedroom floor, with both fully clothed.
The next morning, Dave has to jump off the roof to evade her parents. He realizes he doesn’t have Aubrey’s number. So he scrambles to find it, only to learn that she’s seeing a movie with her boyfriend that night. He then learns she’s going to have sex with this older boyfriend that night and tries to talk her out of it, saying the right person matters, and not to rush into things.
Aubrey dumps her boyfriend, but winds up hopping into bed with this allegedly nice guy. The filmmakers view this as okay because they use a condom. However, when the condom breaks offscreen, they panic and nearly break off their attempt at a relationship. They eventually decide they had a special bond forming anyway, Sadly, they also decide that, while sex shouldn’t be the focus of their relationship, it will still be part of it.
THE FIRST TIME tries to be a modern John Hughes film, with generally decent kids as the two leads. There’s lots of talk about how much pressure there is to be promiscuous as teenagers while criticizing that pressure. However, although writer-director Jonathan Kasdan could have made a strong, pro-moral film out of this material and these discussions, he inexplicably has the kids fall into the very behavior they’re criticizing. Thus, when it appears they’re learning that having sexual relations too quickly is destructive, they wind up reconciling and saying they’re going to ease into having such relations anyway.
This patently immoral attitude is particularly destructive because the movie takes its young leads so seriously, and the actors are genuinely talented. This just makes it likelier that young audiences will be more susceptible to the movie’s ultimately destructive, abhorrent message. THE FIRST TIME also contains some strong foul language and underage alcohol use and abuse. MOVIEGUIDE® advises parents to keep their children from seeing THE FIRST TIME.