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My First Mister (2002)


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 80
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 38

Critics Consensus: Though well-acted, My First Mister succumbs to contrived sentimentality in its last half.

Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 14

Critics Consensus: Though well-acted, My First Mister succumbs to contrived sentimentality in its last half.


Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 5,162



Movie Info

A first feature from acclaimed actress Christine Lahti (who won an Academy Award for her short film Lieberman in Love in 1995), My First Mister explores the delicate relationship between two unlikely individuals who bring each other out of their protective shells. Jennifer (Leelee Sobieski), the film's narrator, is a Goth-obsessed, tattooed 17-year old who absorbs herself in death-laden music and poetry. Just graduating from school and immersed in a dysfunctional relationship with her out-there … More

R (for language and some sexual material)
Directed By:
Written By:
Jill Franklyn
In Theaters:
Apr 23, 2002
Paramount Classics - Official Site



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Critic Reviews for My First Mister

All Critics (87) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (38) | DVD (11)

Sobieski's performance in this role pretty much kills off the film.

October 25, 2001
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Franklin's gooey, implausible script is too ridiculous to support unexpected bouts of sincerity, and the darkness is seldom as profound as it should be.

Full Review… | October 25, 2001
Top Critic

The sort of movie with so little faith in itself that it falls back on that most dreadful of clichés: The Fatal Development A Little More than Halfway Through.

Full Review… | October 19, 2001
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Although the movie has its moments, it's a tearjerker that jerks too hard.

October 12, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

Beautiful and so phony it makes you urp.

October 12, 2001
Washington Post
Top Critic

If the girls in Ghost World were to see this one, they'd gag.

Full Review… | October 12, 2001
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Terrible script, terrible plot, clichés and plot holes galore...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

The actors earn the couple of salty drops you may shed at the end -- the script sure doesn't.

Full Review… | August 25, 2008

Actress Lahti's feature directorial debut is a disappointingly sappy melodrama about the unlikely bond between a rebebllious high-school grad (Leelee Sobieski) and a dying older man (Albert Brooks).

Full Review… | January 29, 2007

A beautiful story about finding camaraderie, and ultimate love in the infrequent of places

February 7, 2003

...while Ghost World is, on the whole, a slightly better movie, My First Mister is nevertheless worth checking out mostly due to two incredible lead performances.

Full Review… | January 10, 2003
Reel Film Reviews

Starts out as a deliriously original "odd couple" comedy, and then hangs a quick left turn into shameless tear jerking.

Full Review… | May 9, 2002
Apollo Guide

A good small movie featuring a different kind of love story..

Full Review… | April 24, 2002
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

The calculated sappiness does succeed in provoking a heightened reaction--but resentment and disgust is surely not what they had in mind.

Full Review… | January 3, 2002

A woefully underdeveloped story populated by unbelievable characters.

Full Review… | December 9, 2001
Film Journal International

There's a terrific movie somewhere inside Christine Lahti's My First Mister, but it's kept hidden by the trite trappings of a Lifetime movie-of- the-week.

Full Review… | November 13, 2001
Film Blather

She's not just tattooed and surly and he's not just geeky and stern - their characters are beautifully written and fleshed out gradually and admirably by the actors.

Full Review… | October 30, 2001

Brooks and Sobieski shine throughout.

Full Review… | October 29, 2001
Sacramento News & Review

A testament to both Sobieski and Brooks -- especially Brooks, who is Oscar-worthy here -- that we buy into their film's manipulative tendencies and its demands of unconditional acceptance.

Full Review… | October 28, 2001
Sacramento Bee

It will have you smiling so much, that you may not even notice how close it comes to sliding into mediocrity.

Full Review… | October 26, 2001
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

As you watch Sobieski work, you sense you're in on the start of something special.

Full Review… | October 26, 2001
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Christine Lahti makes an assured directorial debut, allowing the relationship between J. and Randall to play out at its own natural pace.

Full Review… | October 26, 2001
Salt Lake Tribune

A rarity this -- an older man paired with a younger woman that doesn't produce a loud, vulgar gagging sound from the back of the viewer's throat.

Full Review… | October 23, 2001
Movie Boeuf

the film abandons Randall's store completely to more effectively segue from an unsuccessful comedy into an equally unsuccessful tearjerker

Full Review… | October 22, 2001
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for My First Mister


Simply stated, this was a wonderful discovery. The movie boasts a cast who played off of each other effortlessly, and believably. It was poignant, and timeless. I loved this movie,

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


My type of movie - people (in this case a Goth chick and a dress salesman) listening to each other and growing emotionally.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

I little weird. The acting was there but the story was a little slow and off.

Jason Spencer

Super Reviewer

This was a story about a lonely and alienated Goth-like teenager named Jennifer Wilson (Leelee Sobieski) who has a lot of personal baggage (and almost unrecognizable under the tattoos, body piercings and a suicidal fetish.) Then she meets a grumpy clothing store owner (Albert Brooks) and little by little, they generate a real friendship. All bodes well for this tale of the unlikely friendship between two very different characters, who manage to connect despite these differences, not the least being the vast age differences (he's 49 and she is 17). They are clearly soul mates but not in the sexual sense (which in hinted at in one hilarious moment when Jennifer asks Randall upfront if he wants to f**k her and he promptly chokes on his Sanka coffee).

Deb S

Super Reviewer

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