Friday, July 13, 2012

Goodbye First Love (Rhoades)

“Goodbye First Love”
Shares a Life Lesson

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades

Some girls write about their intimate feelings in a diary. French director Mia Hansen-Løve chooses to share hers in a semi-autobiographical movie about young love.
In “Goodbye First Love” (Original title: “Un amour de jeunesse”) she explores a young woman’s romantic entanglements.
In the Paris of 1999, we meet a pretty student named Camille and her selfish boyfriend Sullivan, a couple in in love. “Love is all I care about,” she says. But love changes to despair when Sullivan goes off to Marseilles without her.
“I don't want you to go,” she cries. “What will I do without you?”
But he wants to become “a real person.”
“If I lost you, I wouldn’t survive,” she tells him. But that’s not true.
As time passes she drifts into an affair with a married architect, has a miscarriage, meets up with her old boyfriend after eight years apart.
His dreams of becoming a photographer haven’t quite worked out, in that he must supplement his income as a handyman. And Camille’s search for love doesn’t go the way she’d dreamed.
The subtitles express the pain of love in this Franco-German production. But the cinematography makes you feel like you’re hanging with real kids as they ride a bicycle, make love, go swimming in a secluded stream, wander the Gallic countryside.
Lola Creton (as the girl-in-search-of-love Camille) and Sebastian Urzendowsky (as not-ready-to-commit Sullivan) are a believable pair, whether having sex, fighting, or walking away. Magne-Havard Brekke is effective as the architect Lorenze, another lesson in love for Camille.
“Life is not what you expect,” the architect tells her.
This is 31-year-old writer-director Mia Hansen-Løve’s fifth film. Her “Tout est pardonné” was nominated for a Best First Film César in 2008. And “The Father of my Children” won the Special Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.
“We have all of our life to be serious,” Camille says to Sullivan. “Let’s make the most of our youth.” Perhaps they do, but not in the way they expected.
Getting over a lost love is painful, no matter what the language.

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