First Date Review

By Curt Wiser

Action Comedies are a rare breed, especially when they play well. First Date is an Action/Comedy that does it right. Mike, played by Tyson Brown urgently buys a used car because he scores a first date with his high school sweetheart, Kelsey, played by Shelby Duclos, but things heat up when he learns the car has criminal ties and ruthless people are looking for it.

Comedy emerges out of the situations Mike is put through over the coarse of one day. A strange assortment of characters become involved along the way. Criminals, an elderly couple and a pair of rogue cops fill the narrative. There are flourishes of crime or action moments in First Date which are well produced set pieces. The clash of tones between Comedy and Action are balanced nicely.

I have to note, there are a few major coincidences that cause us to leap from one point to another in the journey. This is common among stories like this, so we, the audience, tend to go along for the ride. Examples include the movies After Hours and Cop Car. Thankfully, none of these were such a stretch that it took me out of the story.

Tyson Brown and Shelby Duclos had a natural chemistry that made their pensive on screen romance very believable. The performances of these two leads is the glue that holds it all together.

Solid work all around for the filmmaking duo of Manuel Crosby and Darren Knapp, who are both writers/directors/producers of First Date. Manuel Crosby also served as cinematographer and one of the editors of the movie.

The look and pacing were strong, so taking on all these jobs was not a mistake in this case. Well known indie filmmaker Lucky McKee (“Tales of Halloween”, “The Woman”) is also a producer on First Date.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone looking for a crime/comedy movie or if you are a fan of either genre. First Date screened at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and is now released in the UK and United States.

Originally published at




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