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Goodbye First Love (2012)



Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 19 | Rotten: 2

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 5,383

My Rating

Movie Info

Fifteen-year-old Camille (Lola Créton) is a serious, intensely focused girl who has fallen in love with cheerful Sullivan (Sebastian Urzendowsky), an older boy who reciprocates her feelings, mostly, but wants to be free to explore the world. When he leaves her to travel through South America, she is devastated. But over the next eight years, she develops into a more fully formed woman, with new interests and a new love-and the possibility that she'll be less defenseless when Sullivan enters her


Drama, Romance

Mia Hansen-Løve

Sep 25, 2012


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All Critics (53) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (10)

"Goodbye First Love" is fascinating.

June 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hansen-Løve films with an eye toward discovering and rediscovering these characters in pure moments of simple, poignant humanity - wading in a river, clambering over rocks.

June 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Goodbye First Love" is a very lifelike film in the sense that life does not often imitate entertainment.

June 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"Goodbye First Love" is like a postcard from a lost Eden, a painfully pure oasis where we're not allowed to linger.

May 25, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Writer-director, Mia Hansen-Løve, whose third feature this is, has addressed her subject with complete emotional confidence.

May 11, 2012 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is an easy movie to spoil. It's rather plotless. But things happen in precisely the way that life happens.

May 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Love hurts. Especially when you're 15.

July 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer
Cleveland Plain Dealer

I can respect the director for the effort, but it felt too much like a self important student film.

June 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

The first half, with its woozy romanticism, is spectacular, but it begins to lose its way.

June 7, 2012 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

The autobiographical third feature from French director Mia Hansen-Løve limns the ecstasy and tumult of youthful, sometimes self-destructive passion.

May 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

It's as precise and ultimately as undefined as life itself.

May 5, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

At once a paean and a eulogy to that unforgettable first love, Mia Hansen-Løve's latest feature is a refreshingly frank look at young adult relationships.

May 5, 2012 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

Hansen-Løve deftly captures all the emotions of a time when the shortest separation feels like an eternity and the slightest misunderstanding a calamity.

May 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

The young stars may irritate as many viewers as they delight, but their rather stroppy chemistry is convincing and memorable.

May 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Créton has the doe-like Rohmer face, and Hansen-Løve has the cool Rohmer touch - the one that lends grandeur to tales of middle-class Parisian heartache.

May 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Financial Times
Financial Times

A small, sweet film that tells an old story with some new twists.

May 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Paste Magazine
Paste Magazine

The unromantic pain and euphoria of love are instantly revived in this outstanding film.

May 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Guardian

An honest, universal portrayal of early infatuation.

May 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

Impressively directed and superbly written, this is a powerfully emotional and refreshingly unsentimental coming-of-age drama with a terrific central performance from Lola Creton.

May 2, 2012 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

Audience Reviews for Goodbye First Love

"Coup de foudre", which literally means "thunderbolt", is a beautiful French expression for love at first sight. And if there's anything the French should know, it's the fundamentals of romance. Au contraire, Goodbye First Love is rather the exception that confirms the rule.

In Mia Hansen-Løves simplistic melodrama we meet turtle doves Camille and Sullivan. Initially, in their lust-filled adolescence with sex as the focal point. She, with the dream of a long-lasting relationship. He, considerably more reckless, as he pledges his eternal love, only to move with his friends to South America moments thereafter.

The emotional climate that ensues is an exhaustingly dull subsistence with Camille in the abyss of melancholy. The pseudo-empathic Sullivan reports of his adventures with letters from abroad, but after a while they stop coming. Years go by. Camille meets someone new. But just as she turns over a new leaf, her shaggy-haired first love returns to her life again, with additional heartache to follow.

I appreciate simplicity and unpretentious narratives, but that also requires that I'm captivated by the characters. Sullivan can be immediately discounted with his condemnable selfishness. Camille I do suffer with, but when her qualms are mostly composed of milk-and-water platitudes, you wish in vain that the theatre seat came outfitted with a fast-forward button.

There's world-voyaging, moped-riding, berry-picking in picturesque locales. Yet, Goodbye First Love, in its entirety, feels destinationless. A postcard from a place which, albeit photogenic, has little to offer beyond its quasi-meditative (but overall yawn-inducing) tranquility.
November 20, 2012
Mike S

Super Reviewer

"Goodbye First Love" starts with Sullivan(Sebastian Urzendowsky) going on a condom run, while his girlfriend Camille(Lola Creton) patiently waits for him to return. But things are not all hot sex and puppy dogs for this young couple, as Sullivan has left school, intending to go on a prolonged trip of South America, for which he has sold a beloved engraving to finance. While he is gone, all Camille can do is wait for letters and trace his progress on a large map.

"Goodbye First Love" is an evocative, thoughtful and intimate drama from Mia Hansen-Love about young love. As such, the movie neatly counters the melodramatics of youth by pointing out that the world does not stop with the end of a romance, however passionate. As time goes on and the years pass, so does life with its unexpected twists and turns. This is especially important to remember for a character who at first glance might seem more than a little needy which could be worrisome to some. But then no teenager has all the answers nor should they.
November 6, 2013
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Delightful take on innocence and newly discovered feelings, fine performances from the leads.
April 5, 2012
hawk ledge

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Un amour de jeunesse (DE)
  • Goodbye First Love (Un amour de jeunesse) (UK)
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