The First Time (2012 film)

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The First Time
The First Time Movie Poster 2012.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJon Kasdan
Produced byMartin Shafer
Liz Glotzer
Written byJon Kasdan
StarringBritt Robertson
Dylan O'Brien
Craig Roberts
Joshua Malina
James Frecheville
Christine Taylor
Victoria Justice
Music byAlec Puro
CinematographyRhet W. Bear
Edited byHugh Ross
Jerimaca Films
Distributed bySamuel Goldwyn Films
Destination Films
Release date
  • January 21, 2012 (2012-01-21) (Sundance)
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$92,654[1]

The First Time is a 2012 teen romantic comedy film written and directed by Jon Kasdan, and stars Britt Robertson, Dylan O'Brien, James Frecheville and Victoria Justice.

Dave Hodgman (Dylan O'Brien) is a high school senior who spends most of his time pining away over his best friend, Jane Harmon (Victoria Justice), a girl he can't have. Aubrey Miller (Britt Robertson), a junior at a different high school, has an older boyfriend, Ronny, (James Frecheville) who doesn't quite understand her or seem to care. A casual conversation between Dave and Aubrey 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.


Dave, a senior in high school, is in a back alley at a house party, rehearsing a confession of love for his best friend Jane, when he's interrupted by a junior named Aubrey. They talk, and when he practices the speech to get her opinion, she is not impressed. When he offers to dance with her she refuses, explaining that public displays of affection (PDA) are distasteful, in her opinion. She eventually gives in and starts to dance with him, minutes before the police raid the party. Aubrey invites Dave to walk home with her and into her house, noting that she has a boyfriend. She then invites him to her bedroom. They share some wine and a meaningful conversation. Aubrey asks him if he's ever had sex, and Dave admits he hasn't, but she refuses to answer the same question. They talk while lying side by side on the floor and both accidentally fall asleep. The next morning, Aubrey's mother knocks on the door, awakening and surprising both of them. Dave goes through the window to get out of the house, spilling his glass of wine on the carpet in the process.

Dave meets with his friends, the cocky and British Simon and quiet Big Corporation, in a diner for breakfast, telling them about Aubrey. They suggest that claiming to have a boyfriend could be a strategic lie, and tell him he should contact her. Dave receives her home number through a mutual friend and calls her house, catching Aubrey as her parents are berating her about the wine on the rug. Dave informs her that he and his friends are catching a movie that evening, and Aubrey tells Dave she's going to the same theater with her boyfriend Ronny.

Jane and her friends happen to be at the theatre. Aubrey persuades Ronny to go to the same movie as Dave and Jane, as she is feeling a touch of jealousy. Jane repeatedly flirts with Dave inside the theater, sitting next to him, taking off her jacket and attempting to hold his hand. Confused and upset, Aubrey leaves the theater during the film, and a concerned Dave follows her. In the lobby, she apologizes for being strange on the phone and having him jump off the roof. They have another conversation, in which Dave gets her cell phone number and invites her and Ronny to Jane's friend's house afterwards.

At the friend's house, Aubrey and Jane end up together at the pool, and talk about Dave. Jane has high praise for Dave, but clearly takes him for granted while complaining about all the awful guys she's been with. Aubrey seems to suggest that sometimes the right guy is right in front of them, but stops and pretends to have forgotten what she was about to say.

Meanwhile, inside the house, a jealous and tipsy Ronny brags to Dave that he and Aubrey are planning to have sex that night in his van. This annoys and worries Dave, who finds Aubrey and tells her not to have sex with Ronny, and that her first time shouldn't be with a guy like him. Aubrey denounces the romantic notion of the first time being so important, and tells him it's none of his business. Things take a flirtatious turn but Ronny appears, telling Aubrey they need to go. Dave intervenes, nearly leading to a fight before Simon and Big Corporation intervene, stopping it. Aubrey leaves with Ronny.

At the end of the small party, Dave ends up in a bedroom with Jane, where she half flirts with him before starting to complain about her latest sexual misadventures. Jane notes that something weird is going on with Dave. He realizes he'd rather be with Aubrey and leaves. On his way home, he gets a text from Aubrey asking him to pick her up. Smiling, he obliges. They drive around, she tells him that she's just dumped Ronny. They eventually pass a van that they both recognize, which turns out to be one in which they interacted with the teenagers inside on the night of the party where they met. The van appears to have crashed, and the teenagers inside are no where to be found. This greatly upsets Aubrey, who says she's going to be sick and Dave pulls over. Throughout this, they gradually reveal and discover their feelings for each other, ending in them kissing in the parking lot where Dave pulled over.

They talk on the phone the next day and meet at a park with Dave's little sister, Stella. Aubrey learns that her parents are going out and invites Dave over that night. Dave struggles with himself before deciding to not bring a condom.

That night they make out, then hesitate before deciding to have sex. Dave awkwardly puts on a condom that Aubrey has, and the scene fades out as they decide to have sex.

Afterwards, both of them are upset because it hasn't gone well, and they don't know how to talk about it. Everything they say seems to make it worse, and they decide it was all a mistake and they should not see each other.

Later that night, Aubrey keeps looking at her phone hoping Dave will call, while Dave repeatedly picks up his phone to call but backs down. He meets with Simon and Big Corporation, telling them that the idea of sex was better than the experience. Simon tells him its no big deal, but Big Corporation reminds him that they spend every weekend looking for someone special and it never happens, but this time it did. He says Dave and Aubrey hit a speed bump because it was their first time, but Dave should be a man and give it another try.

In the following morning, Aubrey tells her parents that she found a great guy and messed it up by pushing him away. Her parents try to make her feel better. Dave is waiting for her in the driveway, declaring his feelings and wants to try again. She leads him to believe she's not interested, but asks for a ride to school. In the car, she expresses her desire to be together and a need to work on the sex, which he happily agrees to. He drops her off and they say goodbye awkwardly, but she runs back to him, breaking her no PDA rule with a warm, passionate kiss in front of the other students.



The First Time Unofficial Soundtrack
1."Silly Boy"Soeren Christiansen, Steffen Westmark, Allan Villadsen, Per JoergensenThe Blue Van3:19
2."Teenage Daydream"Robin FeherThe Nights3:57
3."We're #1"Andrew CreightonThe World Record3:54
4."Mama"Trey JohnsonSorta 
5."Lonely Soul"Robin FeherThe Nights3:56
6."Oh My Love"Daniel Varjo, Ludvig Rylander, Lisa Milberg, Maria Eriksson, Martin Hansson, Per Nystrom, Ullik Jonusson, Dante HolgerssonThe Concretes2:54
7."Out of Touch"Elizabeth BordenLiz Borden and The Axes2:32
8."If It Be Your Will"Leonard CohenLeonard Cohen3:42
9."Trouble"Matthew Beighley, Thomas King, Jacqueline SantillanWait. Think. Fast.4:12
10."The End"Bethany CosentinoBest Coast2:42
11."Head Spin"Dane SchmidtJamestown Story3:13
12."Diamond Eyes"Michael HagginsMichael Haggins18:02
13."I Cannot Love You"Michael LernerTelekinesis2:01
14."Can't Stop Thinking"Tom WolfeBuva4:11
15."Come On"Chad MarshmanThe Wind4:39
16."In Your Mind"Matt Weinberger, Abe Seiferth, Jared Elioseff, John Graham Davis, David BurnettPhonograph4:30
17."Come and Go (feat. KU)"Danica Rozelle, Jacques Slade, Lamar Van Sciver, Frank GreenfieldDanica Rozelle4:06
18."Anne With an E"Kip Berman, Peggy Wang, Kurt Feldman, Alex NaidusThe Pains of Being Pure at Heart4:06
19."Wait For Me"Daniel Blue, Josiah ShermanMotopony4:57
20."Vampire's Kiss"John GoldJohn Gold3:41
21."Coming Home"Pete Kilpatrick, Zach JonesPete Kilpatrick Band3:38
22."Till The Morning"Afie JurvanenBahamas1:58
23."Girls Like You"Thomas Powers, Aaron Short, Alisa XayalithThe Naked And Famous6:04
24."Sweet Louise"Barbara Gruska, Ethan GruskaThe Belle Brigade3:06


Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a 47% rating based on 19 reviews and an average rating of 5.62/10.[2] Metacritic gives the film a score of 55 out of 100, based on 10 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews."[3] Among the negative reviews, Mark Olsen of the Los Angeles Times wrote, "There is much to like here, a sense of nuance and non-judgmental emotional openness, yet Kasdan's teenage miniaturism never quite blooms,"[4] whilst Joshua Rothkopf of Time Out New York said "Writer-director Jonathan Kasdan can't even bother to satisfy the buildup with a real moment of consummation (welcome to the fade to black) or believable postcoital complications."[5] Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter was similarly unimpressed, remarking "Despite intermittent laughs and charm, The First Time feels slight and pretty ordinary by the end, with no edge or compelling insights..."[6]

However, New York Times critic Neil Genzlinger wrote a positive review, stating that "The list of temptations a filmmaker can fall into when making a movie about high school students and virginity is quite long, but Jonathan Kasdan avoids most of them in his sweet, low-key comedy “The First Time.” No gratuitous raunchiness here and only a few tired caricatures in a genre usually jammed with them."[7] And Daniel Fienberg of HitFlix enthused, ""The First Time" doesn't look or feel like a Sundance competition entry, but if you overlook it due to that television pedigree, you'll miss out on an effectively sweet, frequently clever offering buoyed by an attractive group of stars..."[8]


The First Time was released in a limited release on October 19, 2012, and grossed just $22,836. It was released on DVD and digital download on March 12, 2013.[9]


  1. ^ "The First Time (2012)". Box Office Mojo.
  2. ^ "The First Time". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 14, 2020.
  3. ^ "The First Time Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  4. ^ Olsen, Mark (October 18, 2012). "Review: A delicate love never quite blooms in 'The First Time'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  5. ^ Rothkopf, Joshua (October 16, 2012). "The First Time". Time Out New York. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  6. ^ McCarthy, Todd (January 27, 2012). "The First Time: Sundance Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on January 29, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  7. ^ Genzlinger, Neil (October 18, 2012). "Raging Hormones and Soul-Searching Conversations". The New York Times. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  8. ^ Fienberg, Daniel (January 23, 2012). "Sundance Review: Jonathan Kasdan's 'The First Time'". Archived from the original on January 29, 2012. Retrieved April 13, 2016.
  9. ^ "The First Time (2012)".

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