Goodbye First Love review

A girl adjusts to life without a boy she deeply loves over a ten-year period following the abrupt ending of their relationship.

A meandering exploration of emotions and an attempt to capture a glimpse and understanding of young love, Un amour de jeunesse, to give it its original name, is a moving, if flawed, naturalistic romantic tale. A semi-autobiographical story, this is perhaps key both to its success and its failures - although providing some clearly heartfelt insight it suffers from being bogged down by possibly subjective meaning.

The middle of the film lingers far too long on the protagonist’s “getting on with it”, providing little character progression, and the central characters uncomfortably lean slightly towards gender stereotypes: The hyper-emotional girl is excessively clingy and the free-spirited boy is, well, a bit of a bastard and, as a result, neither of them are especially lovable and their attraction isn’t always entirely convincing. At the same time, however, with a fine cast in nicely exploited contrasting landscapes of Paris and the Ard├Ęche, there are some lovely, very true, very believable touching moments that instil feelings of both “I wish I was that age again” and “thank God I’m not that age any more.”

3 out of 5

9th May 2012 | On IMDb