Anya Colloff and Amy McIntyre Britt) with lead actors who, while attractive enough, are not so drop-dead gorgeous that we refuse to believe that they would, even for a moment, have trouble connecting with anyone they might choose.
Dylan O'Brien (below) and Britt Robertson (above) are also good enough actors that they bring us into their confusion and hope, which allows us to put up with some of their dumber choices. They're kids, after all. And they seem like kids, rather than the approaching-30 types we sometimes get in these would-be teen flicks.
Craig Roberts of Submarine, shown center), weighty (Lamarcus Tinker, center, right ) or pretty (the quite beautiful Victoria Justice, (shown at left in the penultimate photo below), as well as having a little something more to offer. Each of these characters/performers is given his/her chance to shine for a sudden, splendid moment or two. And they do.
Splendor in the Grass. This is a slight film, no doubt about it, so I don't want to overpraise. But young Kasdan, in giving us characters we care about, really does make this look, sound and feel like "the first time." And that's pretty wonderful.
Samuel Goldwyn Films, opens this Friday, in New York (at the AMC Loews Village 7 and the AMC Empire 25), in Los Angeles (at the AMC Burbank Town Center 8) in Orange County at the AMC Orange 30) and all over Arizona (the state, I believe, in which The First Time was filmed). Click here to see the many Arizona playdates, with cities and theaters listed.