In life, there are perpetual ups and downs. Example: After playing Lex Luthor with enough menacing glee to sustain a franchise let alone one film, Kevin Spacey
goes and puts his hard earned time and money into producing Mini's First Time. At its Tribeca Film Fest premiere, it was obvious this film was going to get picked up (look at that cast!), but there were few other films less worthy of distribution.
Book-ended by a infuriatingly obvious graduation speech, the film kicks off with Mini (Nikki Reed
) explaining how she needs to be a hooker, because modern, rich life is too damn easy. Her trick this evening just happens to be Martin (Alec Baldwin
), her stepfather, who somehow doesn't notice the voice of his stepdaughter and agrees to turn off the lights for the entirety of the night. When confronted, Martin is apprehensive, but Mini sees opportunity in this equation. She quickly makes Martin a sex slave and devises a plan to get Diane (Carrie-Anne Moss
), her mom sent to the looney bin, allowing for her and Martin to not have to hide their affair. Well, things go bad: Diane dies from an overdose, their neighbor (Jeff Goldblum
) gets suspicious, and Detective Garson (Luke Wilson
, for some reason) starts snooping around. Soon, Martin and Mini start questioning each other's motives. Article continues below
This Double Indemnity-meets-Lolita thunderstorm was the absolute low of Tribeca, along with the putrid Land of the Blind. Debuting director Nick Guthe
shows such inexplicable incapability at pacing, it's a wonder anyone is even able to follow the whole mess. What's even worse is that none of the characters are much more than cardboard cutouts. We donít care about a single person in the film, nor do we really like any of them because even the good guy (the detective is really it) is written with such a flat, exhausted pen that he is nothing but police procedure and suspicion. This would even be okay, if any of the jokes worked, but they don't. You might hear a giggle in the back of the theater when Diane catches her masseuse nailing her best friend; more than likely, they are remembering a funny anecdote from last night's happy hour.
What really starts to get on one's nerves is the talent involved in this. Reed showed such promise with Thirteen and her small role in Lords of Dogtown, but she does little more than pose for the camera here. And what happened to all the smoldering heat Moss brought to Memento and the first Matrix film? Don't even get me started on how this film completely wastes the reliable Wilson and Baldwin, one of the few enjoyable parts of last year's Elizabethtown. And that's not even getting into how cinematographer Dan Stoloff''s gifts are wasted here, where they were a point of pride in 2004's Miracle and Gavin O'Connor's Tumbleweeds. Mini's First Time doesn't have any of the unbridled sexuality and grimy characters that it pretends to have, turning all this into a bloated waste of time and money. Consider this an unequivocal low.