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.
Sobieski's performance in this role pretty much kills off the film.
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.
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.
Although the movie has its moments, it's a tearjerker that jerks too hard.
| Original Score: 1.5/5
Beautiful and so phony it makes you urp.
| Original Score: 1/5
If the girls in Ghost World were to see this one, they'd gag.
What looked like a quirky character study suddenly congealed.
A touching tale of friendship and family, its sentimentality cut by the honesty of its performances.
Harold & Maude it ain't.
A coming-of-age story that gets it all wrong.
| Original Score: 1/4
Of all the odd couples who inhabit film, surely among the most endearing are Jennifer and Randall.
| Original Score: 4/5
Brooks' work in actress Christine Lahti's directing debut ... is the finest acting he's done since Broadcast News.
Offers the curious experience of being able to believe in a screen full of first-rate actors yet not believe in anything that's happening to the people they're playing.
| Original Score: 3/5
It's hard not to enjoy the amusing and sometimes touching turnarounds [Jennifer and Randall] do.
A small movie full of good intentions and wildly erratic execution.
| Original Score: 2/4
Brooks guards the movie from overheating in a surfeit of warmedy.
| Original Score: C-
These two characters are so particular and sympathetic that the whole movie could simply observe them.
| Original Score: 3/4
What makes My First Mister a successful feature directing debut for Lahti is the emotional veracity it summons.
A nicely observed, well-acted tale of mismatched friendship, until it takes a dive for the easy resolutions down the stretch.
A human-scale comedy that reaches across generations to tickle, connect and embrace.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Predictable and manipulative, complete with a clichéd Hollywood tearjerker ending.
Offers something rare for a modern movie: an uncynical depiction of the redemptive power of human relationships.
60 minutes into My First Mister, I was thoroughly engrossed. A half-hour later, I desperately wanted the whole mess to end.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
It is amazing ... what creative and conscientious actors can do with tired material.
Terribly caricatured around the edges, and far too much of the comedy stems from making light of stereotypical personality traits.