Title: The First Time
Released: 2012

Fix: Recapturing Those First Butterflies
Platform: Netflix

IMDb Summary:

A romantic comedy centered on the two high schoolers: Dave, who until now has pined for a girl he can’t have, and Aubrey, a creative type who’s dating a guy who doesn’t quite understand her.

FYA Summary:

Dave’s in love with the unattainable Jane, and Aubrey’s dating older douchebag Ronnie. When the party they meet at gets busted by the cops, they end up walking to her house and falling asleep in her room. But when they go back to their own lives, their other relationships aren’t quite enough anymore. And… well, look at the title. What do you think happens?

Familiar Faces:

Dylan O’Brien as Dave

Stiles from Teen Wolf!* Who is looking, ahem, pretty good. (Like, I-looked-up-his-age-to-gauge-how-inappropriate-this-crush-is good.) Dave is pretty much the sensitive hottie I we all would have wanted to date in high school. He’s an ACTUAL good guy, and not just a Nice Guy.

*Which I’ve never seen an episode of, but only know from Meghan’s fantastic recaps.

Britt Robertson as Aubrey

This pairing is a little unfortunate because Stiles reminds me of Thomas Dekker — i.e. Secret Circle déjà vu! — but Dave is so (so, so, so, so, SO) much better than Adam.

As for Aubrey herself, she starts off as a dud by laying on the edgy sarcastic chick thing too thick. But if this were a book report, she’d eventually earn my BFF charm when her genuine self shows through.

Joshua Malina and Christine Taylor as Aubrey’s parents

Aubrey’s parents have fairly small roles, but it’s the D.A. from Scandal* and ’90s Marcia Brady/Ben Stiller’s wife!

*And a horrible show about corporate bros that I only watched because of Michael Vartan, if I’m being honest about where I know him from.

Victoria Justice as Jane

This girl has (had?) a show on Nickelodeon, I think. And every time I look at her, I marvel at the fact that she’s still a teenager because SO PRETTY. Obvi, Dave is in love with her (although he seems to be less shallow than me).

Couch-Sharing Capability: Medium

This is one of those talky talkies, so it’s not the best for having real-life convos. But it’s a fairly short movie that’s cute and swoony, and it’s got a pretty good soundtrack.*

*Assuming you share my predilection for hipster tunes. Otherwise, please forgive my taste in music.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: Low, Then Adjust Accordingly To Your Voyeuristic Threshold

I actually enjoyed this movie, so the drinky-drink wasn’t necessary. Howevs, when things Olivia Newton-John, i.e. got physical, it made me SUPER uncomfortable. The close-ups, the subdued score — plus, as inferred from Googling the photos for this movie, the leads were (are?) involved IRL. I guess props for realism, but I felt icky for looking.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Good

Look, this movie is not going to change your life (unless you, too, discover a newfound love for Dylan O’Brien). But it’s sweet and hopeful, harkening back to a time when you’re discovering yourself and love for the first time — just like a fun YA read.


Mandy (she/her) lives in Edmonton, AB. When she’s not raiding the library for YA books, she enjoys eating ice cream (esp. in cold weather), learning fancy pole dance tricks, and stanning BTS. Mandy has been writing for FYA since 2012, and she oversaw all things FYA Book Club from 2013 to 2023.