8 September 2006 | claudio_carvalho
A Little Gem, With an Awful and Vulgar Title
Jennifer Benson (Leelee Sobieski) is a seventeen years old misfit punk teenager that uses piercing, tattoos, wears only black clothes and dyed hair, self-inflicts injures and has fixation for death. She misses a father and a normal mother, since Mrs. Benson (Carol Kane) has trouble in the communication with her, and feels absolutely rejected. While looking for a job, she meets the forty-nine years old Randall Harris (Albert Brooks), a lonely man who owns a shopping store, and he hires her. They are opposites but with loneliness and lack of friends in common. They become close friends, and their interaction changes their behavior for good while secrets and feelings are disclosed.
This is the second work of the excellent underrated actress Christine Lahti as director that I see (the other one is the short "Lieberman in Love"), and also a surprisingly great movie. The original and the Brazilian titles are simply awful and vulgar, and do not mirror this sensitive story of loneliness and friendship. Leelee Sobieski has another great performance in the role of a disturbed and rebellious teenager, needy of love and care, who changes her behavior when she meets her soul-mate friend in a middle-age man. I am not fan of Albert Brooks, but he is great performing Randall Harris, the man who touches Jennifer in the heart. In the end, a toast to all special "F" words: to friends, family, fate, forgiveness and forever. Wonderful and touching! My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Meu Primeiro Homem" ("My First Man")