We all remember our first love. The love that shapes you forever. In AJ Edwards’s film, First Love, we see two stories unfold on opposite ends of the spectrum. We meet Jim and Ann, two high school seniors who meet for the first time and fall in love. However, with college lingering around the corner, the two have to figure out their future.
The 2nd storyline is Jim’s parents, Kay and Greg. They also met when they were 17, but now 21 years into marriage they have hit a huge bump in the road. Now, they have to figure out if they can make it through together.
What I truly enjoy about First Love is that it’s able to tell a story and say so much with emotions, looks of longing or despair, without saying very many words. When Ann and Jim go on their first date, she mentions the acting exercise, mirroring. In this film, our main characters are our own mirrors helping us remember, and feel what it’s like in these moments.
Jim and Ann are played by Hero Fiennes Tiffin (After) and Sydney Park (DMZ). Their chemistry is beautiful and heartbreaking. You know exactly how each of them is feeling with their small expressions and every tiny gesture. Tiffin, as Jim, wears his heart on his sleeve with so much love and yearning. You understand everything Ann is going through, through Park’s work – from the struggle for her future to her pure love for Jim. I could watch these two on-screen forever.
Diane Kruger (Swimming with Sharks) and Jeffrey Donovan (Burn Notice) as Kay and Greg show the other side of the relationship. After all of the rose-colored glasses come off and real-life problems come into play you quickly realize love isn’t enough. You truly have to be partners, push each other, and not give up. While they’re going through a really tough time, the writing always has you guessing if they’ll actually make it through to the end.
First Love hits select theaters and streaming on-demand on June 17th, 2022.