7.2/10
5,197
110 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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From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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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

Opening Weekend USA:

$102,456, 14 October 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$621,377, 21 April 2002
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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

Leelee Sobieski's character, Jennifer, has a number of facial piercings, and cartilage piercings in both ears, but does not have her earlobes pierced - to which a reference is made in the movie. At the time the movie was made, Leelee herself did not have pierced earlobes, as she did not have them done until 2006. Specially for her part in this movie, she did, however, have both nostrils, both eyebrows and her lip pierced, along with the cartilage of both ears. After filming was completed, she removed the piercings and allowed them to close up again, but kept the jewelry as a souvenir of the movie. See more »

Goofs

When J is removing her piercings, she pulls out a safety pin from her nose that was never there in the first place. See more »

Quotes

Randall ("R"): [on his deathbead] I want you to go to college. It's really important, okay?
Randy Harris, Jr.: Did you?
Randall ("R"): Yes.
Randy Harris, Jr.: What did you learn?
Randall ("R"): Give me a second, I'll think of it.
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Connections

Features Win Ben Stein's Money (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

Don't Look Now
Written by Michael Sherwood & Julius Robinson
Artist Patrick Tuzzolino
Record Skywriter
(Publisher: Project R. Music-BMI, Sheckstone (ASCAP)
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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