TL;DR – A film looking at people trying to find other people to plug that hole in their lives
Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene
Disclosure – I was sent a screener of this film.
First Blush Review –
There has been a lot of reframing of traditional relationships in the post-modern era. However, when cinema has started to explore this realm, it rarely explores this world’s realities. Today we have a film that gives it a solid try if nothing else.
So to set the scene, Nena (Rachel Alig) and Drew (Ryan Caraway) are a mostly happy married couple living in Los Angeles. While everything is good, it does feel like they are sleepwalking through their lives until one day Drew plans a surprise birthday party for Nena with her annoying friend Carrie (Jordee Kopanski). The party is a bit rubbish, but while they are there, Carrie runs into Olivia (Kate Beecroft), and soon their worlds come crashing together.
I will say, one of the things that I liked in First Blush, was the use of light. There were all of these moments where the light was framed across people’s faces, making everything pop. Sure some of it was that they filmed in the golden hour and that light will always make everything look good. But a lot of this film is set at night, so you can see that a lot of care has gone into how everything looks.
In narratives like this, they tend to fall into two different camps. Some position the whole film’s narrative as a cautionary tale to be avoided at all cost, and then some are almost evangelical about the experience. Like most things, real life is somewhere in the middle, which is where I thought this film was going, which had me interested. Unfortunately, instead of exploring that grey in the middle, this film swings wildly from one extreme to another.
This film’s performances are mostly fine, which is essential as this is a small cast and the critical personal dilemmas that hit each of the cast. However, I did find the character of Carrie to be frustrating, and the film was better when she was not around. This leads to the film’s core weakness that you can see the main problem (lack of communication) right from the start, so the film’s outcome is a clear a lighthouse in the night. Also, it did feel that maybe the film ended about 10 minutes after it should have.
In the end, do we recommend First Blush? Well, I think it is a serviceable film exploring the complicated relationships that can form. While I don’t think the film is narratively as concise as it needed to be, it did tell a complete story. If you liked First Blush, I would also recommend to you Romance on the Menu.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of First Blush
Directed by – Victor Neumark
Written by – Victor Neumark
Music by – Michael Walsh
Cinematography by – Brett A. Frager
Edited by – Victor Neumark
Production/Distribution Companies – Lampshade Pictures & Gravitas Ventures
Starring – Rachel Alig, Ryan Caraway, Kate Beecroft, Jordee Kopanski, Christopher Moaney-Lawson, Riley Ceder & Kevin Newman
Rating – Around an Australia: M;