The First Time

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The First Time Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Frank-but-approachable romcom about teens and sex.
  • PG-13
  • 2012
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 20 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Finding a meaningful relationship while you're a teenager can be very difficult in a world where your peers are all cloaking their real selves so they don't get hurt. But it's worth it, because a true relationship demands the willingness to be vulnerable. Also, the movie posits that sex isn't a subject that should go unspoken in a relationship -- it says that clear and honest communication is essential.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The two main characters manage to speak to each other openly and with respect, something that teens who don't want to stick their necks out too far might find themselves having difficulty emulating. Teens discuss sex responsibly, and the subject is dealt with sensitively.


A teen jumps off a roof and, miraculously, is unhurt. A car crash is shown, with bloody aftermath.


In one scene, teen girls run out of a party topless, covering their breasts with their hands. And lots of talk about sex. A teenage couple discusses having sex for the first time in detail; they make out heavily and proceed to try to have sex, and they bring up the need for condoms. Teens are shown under the covers, presumably post-coital.


Language includes one use of "f--k," plus "s--t," "d--k," "bitch," "stupid," "ass," "screw," and more.


Labels/brands seen include Facebook, Twitter, De Beers, iPhone, Chevrolet, and more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens are shown rushing out of a house party where underage drinking is taking place, though not much drinking is shown on-screen.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that romantic comedy The First Time offers a frank look at teenage sex and how teens decide to become sexually active -- as well as the importance of having a meaningful relationship with honest communication. Expect open conversations about sex, virginity, and condom use; some heavy making out; an implied post-sex scene of teens in bed together; and topless teen girls covering their breasts with their hands while running out of a party (where underage drinking is taking place). There's also some swearing (one "f--k," plus "bitch" and "s--t") and a car crash.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMR VDL August 20, 2018


Movie is an accurate, all be it awkward, representation of an intimate relationship between two consenting teens.
Adult Written byNats10 June 30, 2018

Sweet teen love story

I think it’s a really sweet teen love story. Slightly uncomfortable in one scene. The boy struggles with the condom. My 16 year felt awkward. It’s shows teens t... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byjade1999 February 9, 2014

Loved it!

Such a great movie, with great actors (especially Dylan O'Brian, he's HOT!;) ) Anyway, i loved this move and ended up wanting more of it. There is a l... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byFireballw1 July 26, 2013


I think this movie is amazing it captures the life of a teen almost perfectly some of it is cheesy but it happens in real life. It also has real messages that k... Continue reading

What's the story?

Dave (Dylan O’Brien) and Aubrey (Britt Robertson) hadn't exactly planned on falling for each other. Dave has a major crush on his friend Jane (Victoria Justice), and Aubrey is dating an older, angsty musician, Ronny (James Frecheville). But fall for each other they do after meeting outside a party where Dave is summoning the courage to tell Jane how he feels. Aubrey senses a sensitive soul in Dave, and although she's sort of a cynic, she lets down her guard enough to allow him into her life. They spend a night talking and snuggling, and soon, they can't stop thinking about each other ... or about possibly losing their virginity to each other. Are they moving too fast? What would it be like?

Is it any good?

THE FIRST TIME is fairly straightforward and unimaginative in its linear storytelling, and the performances -- while sweet -- are burdened with too much effort. But it's kind of amazing in how it lays the subject of losing your virginity bare, without making it lewd or overly wrought. In so doing, it engages the audience, allowing them a look at what it's like to be a modern teenager in a world where sex seems either taken for granted or forbidden (hardly ever right in the complicated middle ground).

Plus, the actors talk like teenagers, ping-pong between emotions like teenagers, and admirably approximate what it's like to be faced with the question of losing your virginity. And it's to The First Time's credit that all this happens while they're neither shamed nor hyper-sexualized.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how The First Time portrays sex and its role in teen relationships. How does it compare to other movies about teen sex? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values on this topic.

  • What do you think about the way Dave and Aubrey approach the subject of sex, especially since they just met? Is it realistic?


  • Do you consider the characters role models? Are they intended to be?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love stories about teens

Themes & Topics

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