The loss of virginity plotline is a staple of teen flicks, as is the wild party setting. On that front, Jon Kasdan‘s The First Time offers nothing new. But since its Sundance premiere, this little coming of age tale has drawn praise for being an uncommonly charming example of the subgenre. Peter called it Can’t Hardly Wait meets John Hughes,” and that’s exactly what it looks like — familiar, perhaps, but sweet and smart enough to become a minor high school classic in its own right.

Dylan O’Brien (Teen Wolf) stars as awkward Dave, who carries a torch for his popular best friend Jane (Victoria Justice, Fun Size). That is, until he meets sarcastic Aubrey (Britt Robertson, The Secret Circle), who in turn is dating a douchebag named Ronny (James Frecheville, Animal Kingdom). Craig Roberts (Submarine) and Lamarcus Tinker (Friday Night Lights) round out the young, up-and-coming cast as Dave’s buddies. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Cameron Crowe‘s We Bought a Zoo unfolds in the kind of universe where characters say things like “If you do something for the right reasons, nothing can stop you,” and indeed, it turns out that if your heart is in the right place, Mother Nature herself will stop and part the clouds to make your dreams come true. It’s a place where “Why not?” is a perfectly valid response to the question “What on earth possessed you to buy a zoo?” and where “insane courage” guarantees a desirable outcome. If all of that sounds cringingly sappy, well, it kind of is. But Crowe tells the tale with such genuine feeling that it’s tough not to fall for the movie’s charms all the same.

Based on the memoir by Benjamin Mee, the film follows a freshly widowed father (Matt Damon) who, in an unconventional attempt at self-therapy, moves himself and his two children Dylan and Rosie (Colin Ford and Maggie Elizabeth Jones) into a decrepit zoo. With the help of a small but devoted staff (Patrick Fugit, Elle Fanning, Angus Macfadyen) led by zookeeper Kelly (Scarlett Johansson), the family sets about renovating the park for a grand reopening.

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