Goodbye First Love
- Director: Mia Hansen-Love
- Genre: Drama
- Cert: 15A
- Details: France / 110mins
It's all very French, and Sullivan (Urzendowsky) agrees: Goodbye First Love is all doomed romance and amour fou and navel gazing stuff. Like her last film, The Father Of My Children, Mia Hansen-Love has a knack of getting under the skin of her characters but also has a habit of sticking around too long.
Camille (Creton) and Sullivan are madly in love and are made for each other. However, the longer we spend in their company it seems that Sullivan has sex on the brain and Camille craves his company 24/7 – she can't be alone and hates the fact that he's about to embark on a year's trip around the world. For her, that's the end of the world, and Sullivan tries to be the mature one, saying that it would be good for her to exist outside the two of them. That's easy for him to say, though, as he's the one doing the leaving. When he does leave and Camille slowly mends her broken heart, she studies architecture and falls for her lecturer (Brekke) but Sullivan has to return some time...
Mia Hansen-Love wallows in the dynamics of the relationship. This is a psychoanalyst's dream: Sullivan wants to move on and resents the fact that Camille is making him feel guilty about leaving her, but it's her tears and her despair that makes him turn back and hug her after they have a fight. He likes the attention. Intimate and subtle, Goodbye First Love is the kind of film where getting a haircut is a major plot turn. It's all so personal and familiar that you can easily forgive Camille for hanging on such a dick who regularly blows off dates to party with friends – it's first love and we all did stupid things. This is all wonderful stuff.
Then things get less wonderful. The patience one has for the glacier pace begins to disappear and one realises that Mia Hansen-Love isn't just documenting the small intimate moments of two lovers – she's documenting everything! Leaving no stone unturned, Hansen-Love's hopes that the love affair she is having with the characters will spill over to the audience: no, familiarity breeds contempt and by the end the perpetual mopey nature of Camille and Sullivan grate. And then there's more of it. And then more.
Cutting a half hour from her film and the writer-director would have a genuinely charming love story on her hands but Goodbye First Love just rambles on and on...
Review by Gavin Burke | 13:03 | Thursday 26th April 2012 | Movie Review
The suitably named Mia Hansen-Love follows up the fact-based Father Of My Children with the bittersweet love story Goodbye First Love. It's a more accurate title than the original French one, A Childhood Sweetheart. It's all about the pangs of first love, in this case teenage Camille who falls hard for the slightly older Sullivan. He leaves her to go off on his own adventures, breaking her heart in the process. As the years pass, they drift apart until one day he returns and their love is re-ignited, even though she's already involved with a kind if somewhat older man. It's a simple story effectively told through its naturalistic performances and lush seasonal cinematography in picture-pretty Paris and the scenic Loire Valley. It feels like a nostalgic love letter to anyone who has ever had their heart broken by a first love. One problem with the film though is that the passive Camille seems to invite heartbreak. Even when she's older, she doesn't learn from past mistakes. The lack of a proper face-to-face resolution also leaves the story hanging in the air. Overall though, this is a decent little character piece that's worth a look.Posted 17:22 | Sat 5th May 2012
Log in to leave a comment
The opinions expressed here are those of the viewer and do not reflect those of Entertainment.ie. Entertainment.ie accepts no responsibility, legal or otherwise, for their accuracy of content. Please contact us to report abusive content