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All Critics (12)
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First Comes Love is, before anything else, a portrait of a longing so deep that even the commandingly articulate Davenport struggles to put it into words.
Davenport makes desultory attempts to bring in other mothers, but she is not an interviewer adept at drawing out scintillating observations.
There are many glimmers of truth - as well as what can best be described as accidental insight - in Nina Davenport's painful but beautiful documentary about becoming a parent.
This midlife confessional could have reached beyond the maternal cravings of highly educated, urban-dwelling singletons had it plumbed people's heads as thoroughly as Ms. Davenport's birth canal.
By the end, this HBO presentation feels like one of those uncomfortable evenings where you visit a friend, and they bore you to death with images of their ultrasound.
[Approaches] a hot-button issue from the most suffocatingly narcissistic perspective imaginable ...
Just when you want to shriek at Davenport for her self-absorption, she surprises you with a perception of family life that's as moving as it is true.
First Comes Love will make you go through some unexpected feelings.
Davenport's diary film effectively mines the issues when facing such monumental decisions for the first hour. Then comes the baby, and the film loses direction. Davenport stops being a filmmaker and becomes a parent.
There are some fascinating insights, particularly as her infant son makes her re-examine her childhood...but "First Comes Love" also suffers from being self-obsessed.
But the family drama that simmers beneath is really what intrigues: the questionable quality of her parents' marriage and the disturbing truths that hint at her father's harsh, unloving behavior towards her.
Nina Davenport doesn't seem interested in taming her unwieldy vanity, and thus her documentary reads as a Match.com profile recontextualized as cinema narcissismo.
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