Arnon Grunberg



A while ago I saw the Norwegian movie “Turn me on, Dammit” – a movie about a fifteen-year old girl in a small village who desires sex and love.

(Read my entry about “Turn me on, Dammit” here.)

Mia Hansen-Løve’s movie “Goodbye First Love” (Un amour de jeunesse) starts also with a fifteen-year old girl, this time she is French and named Camille (Lola Créton). We follow her over eights years or so. At the end she has everything, beauty, brains, a boyfriend and a job, but she cannot let go. She is utterly unable to forget her first boyfriend.

“Turn me on, Dammit,” struck me as Scandinavian, funny and a tad cold; ironic distance trumps sentimentality.

“Good-bye First Love” is extremely French, romantic with a straightforward belief in beauty that is rare in these ironic times.
But Mia Hansen-Løve avoids the trap of melodrama: no suicide nor attempted murder.

And unfaithfulness is treated as a matter of fact; nobody gets punished for it. It’s just not that important, it’s as melancholic as a dive in the Loire on a balmy day in the summer.

I could watch “Goodbye First Love” again.