Parents' Guide to

My First Mister

By Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Offbeat friendship is provocative, dark but sweet.

Movie R 2001 109 minutes
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MY FIRST MISTER is about an unlikely friendship, and the key word here is "unlikely"; it takes a while before audiences will believe these two could ever hit it off. Though anyone who has made an unexpected acquaintanceship at an odd job will realize it's entirely possible. But what feels a bit contrived about this over-the-top angsty teen in one outrageous pose after the next and this predictably square retail employee soon finds an organic, natural pace as the two open up, give back and forth, and realize they're both very lonely, disconnected people who long to be understood.

Here is where the heavy themes come in, and there are plenty: disconnects from family, divorced parents, past cheating, a ruined marriage, and a terminal illness, as well as a long-lost son. There are some cutting, casual references to death, sex, and the kind of faux maturity teens are always putting on to pretend to be sophisticated, such as references to taking lovers and trying out lesbianism. But if those can be endured with discussion or the appropriate sense of humor, there are some very sweet, sad-tinged but ultimately hopeful messages at the core of this movie about making connections, honoring family (whatever that may mean for you), and sticking by your people -- people who may not, at first glance, even seem like your people until we give them a real chance.

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