Julie Harris and Dan Byrd in The First of May (1999)

Not the First of Many

Young foster child Cory (Dan Byrd) has been through a few parents by the age of eleven and now he finds himself shifted to a new town and a new set of foster parents. Whilst there he ends up meeting Carlotta (Julie Harris) a resident of an old people's home who doesn't like to be there and who enjoys when ever Cory comes to visit her. When Cory thinks his foster parents are about to send him back to child services he and Carlotta runaway to join the circus owned by Ed.

I guess I wasn't in the right frame of mind when I sat down to watch "The First of May" because a movie which seems to have charmed many did little for me. It is a simple enough movie as we have a young boy who doesn't feel wanted ending up on an adventure with a smart cookie of an older lady who understands him and hates being forced to live in a retirement home where no one has any life. And I suppose in a way part of my trouble is that the set up is too familiar, not the child running away with an older person but the whole friendship which forms and the wisdom the older passes on to the child, in more recent years Michael Caine did this in "Is Anybody There?"

The familiarity of "The First of May" shouldn't be a problem nor should its episodic nature because this sort of movie is all about the little adventures and escapades the two of them get up to. But the various escapades these two get up to from starting a bakery to sneaking a lift on a car carrier just didn't really captivate me even if there is something sweet as to how Cory and Carlotta become like family.

What this all boils down to is that whilst "The First of May" is sweet with that charm which comes from a movie about a troubled child bonding with an older person. But sadly the various adventures in "The First of May" failed to really captivate me or really make me smile.