In the Paris winter of 1999 Camille (Lola Creton) is fifteen, Sullivan is nineteen. Although they love each other passionately, Sullivan wants to go travelling for a year - a plan that fills Camille with despair. At the end of the summer, Sullivan leaves and a few months later he stops writing to Camille. Fast forward four years and Camille is fully devoted to her architectural studies when she meets a well-known architect, Lorenz, who restores her self confidence and they fall in love. It is then that Sullivan and Camille once more cross paths...
Camille (Lola Creton) starts out as a 15-year-old head over heels in love with her boyfriend Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky) without any idea that this relationship is about to end. So ‘Goodbye, First Love’ written and directed by Mia Hansen-Love goes. As the title suggests, Camille is about to say farewell to her first love and it is with this fateful moment that her life will slowly unravel.
It doesn’t mean that Camille’s boyfriend Sullivan is not in love with her. Sullivan wants to travel the world and the only way to do that is to leave Camille. The breakup is harder on Camille but she moves on with her life – without forgetting Sullivan, of course. She puts tacks on a map for each location that Sullivan has ever gone to. It’s a wistful activity borne out of sentimentality, her quiet facility not to forget her first love. We follow Camille as she enters college and becomes interested in architecture. Her growing love for architecture increases as her love for Sullivan diminishes. Camille grows up and we get to watch her do it.
Writer-director Mia Hansen-Love shows a coming-of-age story in ‘Goodbye, First Love’ without the blatant exhibition of a young woman’s sexuality. Nothing scandalous here, the only physical changes you see are Camille’s hairstyles through the years. There are no political, societal, or cultural triggers as well that could force the central character Camille to react and supposedly become mature. Camille grows up in her own way as it entangles with her love for architecture. When she and Sullivan do cross paths years later, it is rife with wisdom and congeniality. They end up appreciating each other and the experiences that they went through.
‘Goodbye, First Love’ will make you reminisce about your own first love, the good parts, hopefully. Although it’s quite painful (should it end), you’ll learn that it was meant to happen so both parties can be better versions of yourselves; in turn you can be the best for your The One. This wonderful film will make you a hopeful romantic.