A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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.
- Parents say
- Kids say
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?
- In theaters: October 19, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: March 12, 2013
- Cast: Britt Robertson, Dylan O'Brien, Victoria Justice
- Director: Jonathan Kasdan
- Studio: Samuel Goldwyn Company
- Genre: Romance
- Topics: Friendship
- Run time: 100 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: mature thematic elements involving teen sexuality, partying and language
- Last updated: March 5, 2021
Our editors recommend
For kids who love stories about teens
Themes & Topics
Browse titles with similar subject matter.
Top advice and articles
Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
Streaming options powered by JustWatch