Goodbye First Love (Un Amour De Jeunesse)

Goodbye First Love is a tender tale of two adolescents and their experience of the euphoric highs and crushing lows of first love. The intensity of teenage love is something very few will ever truly forget and Mia Hansen-løve’s film paints a fascinating picture in this story of love and loss.

 Opening with two teenagers Camille (Lola Créton) and Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky) and their tempestuous, hormone-addled relationship, Sullivan soon announces he is quitting University to have a ten month adventure in South America. Camille, the more committed of the two is devastated about being left behind and fearful of being forgotten. Sullivan assures her everything will be fine but as the months go by he distances himself in his letters and eventually ends the relationship. As he travels the world, the camera remains with Camille and her lonely existence; she studies hard and tries her utmost to move on but is haunted by his words and the stories of his exciting new life. The years go by and now studying to be an architect she begins a relationship with one of her teachers until one day Sullivan comes back into her life.

 With the original French title being Un Amour De Jeunesse  (A love of youth) the English translation doesn’t quite capture the exact meaning and rather than bidding farewell to love, the film really illustrates how you can never really let go of your first love.

 In many cases it is easy to romanticise young love but in the case of Goodbye First Love, there is a true sense of realism and authenticity, they are not always likeable but Camille in particular is very relatable in this sense. The slow pacing as Camille whiles away the years makes her struggle all the more painful but at the same time are not always engaging enough to hold the audiences attention.

 The two leads have a familiar sulky adolescent chemistry, arguing one moment and overcome with lust the next and when they meet again eight years later Hansen-løve cleverly has them looking almost the same as in their teenage years, indicating that despite the time passed they haven’t really changed.

 Accompanied by a pleasant folky soundtrack and beautiful shots of Paris and the French countryside, Goodbye First Love is thought provoking if not wholly dynamic.

 

Verdict:

A tender and nostalgia inducing ride that raises interesting questions about whether or not things should be left in the past or be revisited. As with life itself, the ending feels unresolved and as the credits roll we too are left reminiscing about our own teenage relationships.

***

 

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Comments
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