7.2/10
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112 user 47 critic

My First Mister (2001)

A 17-year-old girl has a troubled relationship with a 49-year-old man.

Director:

Christine Lahti

Writer:

Jill Franklyn

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rutanya Alda ... Woman at Apartment
Natasha Braisewell Natasha Braisewell ... Girl in Vintage
Albert Brooks ... Randall - 'R'
Henry Brown ... Jack Taylor - Salesman
Gary Bullock ... Mr. Smithman
Kevin Cooney ... Doctor
Nic Costa ... Blaine - Surfer Boy
William Forward ... Customer
John Goodman ... Benjamin
Desmond Harrington ... Randy
Shawn Huff ... Woman at R's Store
Carol Kane ... Mrs. Benson
Michael McKean ... Bob
Chadwick Palmatier Chadwick Palmatier ... Manager
Pauley Perrette ... Bebe
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Storyline

Jennifer does not fit in. A total misfit, she's as wacky as a teenager can be. Goth-ed out with multiple piercings, tattoos, and dyed hair, she listens to strange music, watches vintage TV, eats primarily chocolate, and self injures. But now high school is over and she needs a job. Can she possibly have anything in common with the overweight middle-aged man in the haberdashery window? He gives her a job, not to mention a real friendship. Written by Martin Lewison <milst1@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Mismatched. Misguided. Unmistakably friends. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Paramount Classics

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 2001 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Educando a J. See more »

Filming Locations:

Santa Clarita, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$5,250,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$102,456, 14 October 2001

Gross USA:

$568,762

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$595,005
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Michael McKean and 'Christine Lahti' worked together before. They were in rehearsals for a partly-improvised comedy film titled "Kiss the Bride." The project never came to the silver screen. It would have been directed by Bob Balaban. See more »

Goofs

When J is talking to Randy from her car after first meeting him, the door is open from his point of view but closed from hers. See more »

Quotes

Randy Harris, Jr.: Shut up, Sybil. Shut up.
Jennifer ("J"): Sybil?
Randy Harris, Jr.: Yeah, you know Sybil? The woman with eight home phone numbers? It's not necessarily a bad thing. A plethora of personalities can be very enchanting.
Jennifer ("J"): Fuck you.
Randy Harris, Jr.: Fuck you.
Jennifer ("J"): Fuck *you*!
Randy Harris, Jr.: Fuck you. All eight of you.
See more »

Connections

References Sybil (1976) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Blame the Children
(2000)
Written by Horace Andy a.k.a. Horance Andy and Clive Hunt
Performed by Horace Andy (as Horace Andy)
Courtesy of Astralwerks Records
See more »

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User Reviews

I can't forget that first half, where 2 human beings, unencumbered by any expectation other than their own need for connection, follow none of the formulas but love on its own terms.
20 October 2001 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

May to December can be the cruelest months if they're about a relationship between a young woman and an older man. `American Beauty' and more recently `Ghost World' carried the usual criticism of this socially questionable alliance, from downright damage in the former to uncertainty about how it could ever work in the latter.

In `My First Mister,' starring Albert Brooks and Leelee Sobieski, the union works so beautifully in the first half of the film I thought even I could try it. Director Christine Lahti, who won an Oscar for best short film, "Lieberman in Love," concentrates on the flowering friendship between a Goth girl who needs a friend and a job and a 49 year-old haberdasher who has jettisoned everyone in order to live out his life painlessly for everyone.

Jill Franklyn, who wrote the "Yada Yada" episode of "Seinfeld," pens perfect lines for the understated Brooks, such as when he first sees Sobieski: "Scram. Shoo. Why don't you go get your eyeballs pierced?" and another time when he says, "I want the smallest tattoo you have. Can you give me a dot, or a period?"

Director Lahti shows her originality by letting us painfully and slowly watch a purple-haired Sobieski pull out her nose and face rings. This film is the best I have ever seen to give respect to a much-maligned paring in movies. The 17-year-old punker helps him awaken to life's interesting couplings like cavorting mannequins, and he shows her love unalloyed. When the time comes for sex, as it always does in Hollywood, no one cares, even the audience, because the point is the friendship.

In the second half of the film Lahti lets go of her originality to indulge the genre with the usual fatal twist, easy reconciliation of family, and renewal for Sobieski found in a most unbelievable coincidence. Yet I can't forget that first half, where 2 human beings, unencumbered by any expectation other than their own need for connection, follow none of the formulas but love on its own terms.


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