Screenwriter: Nick Guthe
Starring: Alec Baldwin, Nikki Reed, Jeff Goldblum, Carrie-Ann Moss, Luke Wilson
Running time: 91 mins
Mini's First Time opens with an vitriolic monologue from Mini (Reed) in which she complains about how tough she's had it with neglectful mother Diane (Moss) whose flings have been her only fathers. In order to make life exciting, Mini thrives on first experiences from which she says life is made. When her new first is to try her hand at being a call-girl, her life takes a twist as her client turns out to be her step-father (Baldwin). After the first sordid night, they fall for each other and decide to have her mother institutionalised to get her out of the way. However, when the plan gets out of hand, the pair must cover their tracks.
The film can basically be split into two clear halves. First is the couple's quest to drive Diane into madness - this is often hilarious, chiefly thanks to Carrie-Ann Moss's wonderful performance. Her mother is portrayed in such a bad light that it's even possible to sympathise with Mini and disregard the perversity of it all, and in this section of the film this helps to relay the films message - the effects of having unwanted children and providing bad parenting.
However, the second half is unfortunately less impressive. Once Mini shows her true callousness our sympathies no longer have anywhere to lie and the focus turns to a cat-and-mouse game between a police inspector (Wilson) and the couple who try to hide their relationship and maintain their alibis. Since most of the audience will have lost all sense of allegiance with Mini we no longer see her as a girl with a just but perverse cause, but just as plain despicable.
Perhaps the main problem with the second half is the fact that it's working towards culminating in a climactic twist, but Mini is characterised so strongly that the twist can easily be unravelled by the audience a long time before it's meant to surprise us.
Unsubtle as the script might be, the film features strong performances across the board. Nikki Reed and Alec Baldwin are believable and the former certainly seems like she's having fun with the role, whilst Jeff Goldblum (the couple's neighbour) and Carrie-Ann Moss both insist on stealing any scenes they're in.
Overall, Mini's First Time wins no prizes for originality or unpredictability but its an enjoyable enough black comedy.