I would have
enjoyed My First Mister a lot more if it didnt come out just a
couple of months after Ghost World. The idea is clever and
original; a jaded, outcast teenaged girl starts a tentative friendship
and relationship with an older, but just as cynical, misfit man. Im
sure that its just a coincidence that is the exact same storyline as
Ghost World, which frankly did a better job with the idea.
Leelee Sobieski does a remarkable job as J, a punk wannabe whose
disenfranchisement with her life and her family just hides the fact that
she really doesnt like herself very much. Even better is Albert Brooks
as R (these two are so disaffected that they can't even be bothered to
use their complete names), a middle-aged owner of an exclusive mens
store who has long shielded himself from pain by withdrawing from human
They meet when J comes into Rs store in search of a job. At
first he just looks at her piercings and tattoos and blows her off, but
when they talk later they each recognize a kindred spirit. She agrees to
get rid of her piercings (something she would never do for her family)
and he gives her a chance at the job. They slowly, tentatively let down
their guard with each other and become friends.
The direction by actress
Christine Lahti is assured, and the acting by the leads are impeccable
(the supporting roles of Js family as played by Carol Kane, John
Goodman and Michael McKean are somewhat broad clichés though.) The film
is very clever and enjoyable until the last act, where My First
Mister inexplicably veers into TV-movie disease-of-the-week
melodrama, which leads to a "touching" feel-good ending that both J and
R would have probably jeered. (10/01)
Jay S. Jacobs
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March 11, 2017.