Paul (Steven Rooke) is a highly-skilled photographer working for a magazine company. By pure luck, while visiting the Philippines for work and taking some photos in the local markets, he sees Anna, his first love (Carlotta Morelli). After seeing her from afar, Paul is inspired to say hello, and the two begin to talk once again. Anna is visiting for a conference, and it’s been sixteen years since our leads have seen each other. Paul suggests perhaps the two could grab a coffee, but his offer is declined due to Anna’s schedule.
But when it comes to love, Paul doesn’t give up that easily. He suggests to Anna how they can spend time together and believes that seeing each other again is more than just dumb luck. Paul and Anna will now spend time together in the Philippines, and perhaps a romance between the two will reemerge. They both share about their current life and revisit their past together. But not every discussion is perfectly romantic as the two have the occasional disagreements, but no matter, their affection for each other remains. The question is will their love be strong enough to last?
For those who are not aware, Forever First Love is quite dialogue-heavy, and the leading characters Paul and Anna, have the majority of the runtime. Scattered throughout, the film gives small glimpses of Paul and Anna’s past when they were teenagers, which always felt fitting. Both leading Steven Rooke and Carlotta Morelli’s performances are great on-screen, and they deliver a convincing performance and a touching third act.
Visually, Forever First Love has been wonderfully filmed and captured. Nothing felt out of place or ugly and it showed off the Philippines beautifully. The audio track was always nice and clear, which was important as it is dialogue-heavy. At times, the soundtrack by Peter Spierig felt basic, but despite this, it was effective and matched the events occurring on screen.
Those who enjoy some steam in their romance films will be most pleased with this movie as it certainly pushes the Australian MA15+ rating. I found elements unnecessary, but I also enjoyed the film’s attempt to deliver some reality to the screen. The ending is quite abrupt, and the film sprints to its finish line.
Overall, if you’ve ever been in love, then you’ll find this film relatable. It’s a simple film but capable of being something far more to many movie lovers. It’s dramatic, touching and romantic, and the film is certainly wonderful to look at. Performances from Steven Rooke and Carlotta Morelli are wonderful, and they carry this film from start to finish. If you enjoy some steam in your romantic films, you will also be pleased as this film certainly feels more suitable for an adult audience. Personally, I felt this aspect was unnecessary, along with the abrupt ending. However, I also note that many will still enjoy these elements even if I didn’t as much. Forever First Love (2021) is Now Available in Australian Cinemas!