Title: Goodbye First Love
Genre: Drama, Romance
Director: Mia Hansen-Løve
Screenwriters: Mia Hansen-Løve
Starring: Lola Créton, Sebastian Urzendowsky, Magne-Håvard Brekke
Screened at the 2011 Telluride Film Festival
This film’s protagonist is crazy and awful and I wished she would take a long walk off a short pier. I understand that her crazy awfulness is part of the film’s premise — needy, hyper-dramatic teenage girl is dumped by her overwhelmed boyfriend and spends the next ten years fixated on him to various degrees — but I could work up precisely zero sympathy for her (except as a depressive in need of treatment), and scarcely more interest in her misery. I get the sense that Hansen-Love (whose Father of My Children I quite liked) meant to split our allegiances between the girl and the boy in the first hour, with the girl threatening to kill herself if the boy takes a 10-month trip to South America, and the boy being all “dude, I need to have a life, you’re fucking out of your mind,” but no dice — when he finally breaks up with her by letter, all I could think was “right on.” The movie then leaps forward a few years, and we see her get her act together a little, at least before the boyfriend reenters the picture, but the progression from “nuts” to “arguably stable” isn’t exactly riveting drama, without more. I suppose I’m being insensitive (and possibly sexist?) here, but I was clearly expected to identify with the main character’s compulsive pining, or at least feel for her, and I just couldn’t do it. Nice final image though.
— Eugene Novikov